Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences

The gem’ of The University of Edinburgh, the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences was designed from the inside out to realise the prestigious university’s aim of creating a standout interdisciplinary international institute.

A space to inspire innovation, team integration and serendipitous interactions drove the design of the university’s new building, a major addition to Edinburgh’s rapidly expanding BioQuarter. 

Up to 600 academics and researchers in social science, health science and computer science will make their marks on their fields from the institute. They’ll work alongside the private commercial research and development experts from Scottish Enterprise to share knowledge, connect and collaborate within a mix of workspaces, communal circulation zones, cafes, project rooms and presentation areas.

Healthy working is central to the design. Stairs throughout encourage active circulation, while light wells bring natural light into all areas of the building and encourage visual connection and movement between floors. Mixed mode, natural ventilation is used for the open workplace zones.

A striking landmark for Edinburgh and a recognisable identity for the university, the institute is visually connected to the city’s historic castles through a simple, repetitive arrangement of its solid façade. 


University of Edinburgh


Edinburgh, UK


In progress




13,500 sqm

Design team

Julian Gitsham, Lucy O’Driscoll, Will Hartzog, Denis Olette, Matthew Irvine, Aurelio Bethencourt, Charlotte Birch, Chris Chesters, Trang Thuy Dao, Evelyn Choy, Sarah Huc, Yirao Lee, Eliza de Silva, Elizabeth Terry, Daniel Yu


Imigo / Hassell

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