SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank

SKA Global Headquarters Jodrell Bank Observatory Building, Project, Centre for Astrophysics England

SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank

Square Kilometre Array, the world’s largest radio telescope – design by Hassell architects

30 Aug 2016

SKA Global Headquarters at Jodrell Bank

Design: Hassell, architects

Location: Jodrell Bank – The University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Cheshire, North West England, UK

Square Kilometre Array, the world’s largest radio telescope

£16.5m extension to Jodrell Bank’s SKA headquarters is approved

The new SKA Global Headquarters at Jodrell Bank – an extension of the current facilities to house more staff as the project ramps up – has been approved by the local planning authority, reports the University of Manchester.

SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank

Cheshire East Council has approved the application for the erection of new single storey research and administration building and associated landscape, car parking and road works connecting to the existing building. The proposed design takes inspiration from the radio waves that are at the heart of the SKA’s work, while embracing its natural environment.

Early works are due to start in December, and construction is expected to last around 12 months. When completed, the building will be able to hold up to 135 staff, providing research and office space as well as catering facilities for the organisation that will supervise the international effort to build and operate the world’s largest radio telescope. Due to its international status, the building will also include a council chamber for representatives of the inter-governmental organisation’s Member States to meet in, which will double as an auditorium for science conferences and public lectures.

SKA Headquarters Jodrell Bank building interior

“The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank site is iconic for radio astronomy, and is much loved by the general public, who visit the Discovery Centre in their tens of thousands every year. We were delighted when the decision to host the SKA Headquarters at Jodrell Bank was made in 2015. Our astronomers and engineers are playing a significant role in this revolutionary new telescope, and obtaining planning permission for the new building is a key milestone – we very much look forward to seeing the development move forward over the next year.”
Professor Stephen Watts, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy

“This is an important milestone towards constructing the headquarters of the international organisation that will build and operate the SKA.” said Colin Greenwood, Head of Administration at SKA Organisation. “We now look forward to the start of construction, and of course, inauguration of this new state-of-the-art facility.”

The SKA Headquarters building sits alongside the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory. The University is playing a significant role in the international SKA project. Astronomers in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics played an important role in contrubuting to the science book for SKA, describing how this telescope will be a revolutionary facility for radio astronomy. Additionally, researchers in the University’s School of Physics & Astronomy lead the international group working on the Signal and Data Transport for the telescope, and are members of four of the other nine international groups conducting detailed design work.

Signal and data transport is the backbone of the SKA telescope, including a network to take astronomical data from the antennas to the computer facility, a network to distribute synchronisation signals from very accurate atomic clocks to each antenna, and a network to allow telescope control and monitoring information to flow throughout the whole SKA system. The University of Manchester leads the Non-Imaging Processing sub-tasks required for Pulsar searches and Pulsar timing experiments, key research areas at Jodrell Bank, and the University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is also leading work on a novel type of radio receiver element, an Octagonal Ring Antenna (ORA).

The project is funded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Manchester, with contributions from Cheshire East Council. The design is led by HASSELL and the construction by the firm Sir Robert McAlpine.

New SKA building: SKA Global Headquarters Building, Jodrell Bank

17 May 2011

Discovery Centre – Jodrell Bank Observatory

Design: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Discovery Centre for Jodrell Bank Observatory

Jodrell Bank Observatory Building Discovery Centre Jodrell Bank Observatory Building Discovery Centre Jodrell Bank Observatory Building Discovery Centre Jodrell Bank Observatory Building Discovery Centre
images © Hufton & Crow

Jodrell Bank Observatory design by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

SKA Global Headquarters architects – Hassell

Website: SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank Approval

Location: Jodrell Bank – The University of Manchester, Macclesfield SK11 9DL, Cheshire, North West England, UK

Phone: 01477 571766

More information about SKA: Square Kilometre Array at Jodrell Bank


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




Jodrell Bank Observatory England

Jodrell is the site of the global design headquarters of the world’s next-generation radio telescope, the € 1.5 billion Square Kilometre Array, due to become operational in 2024. The telescope is named after the Sir Bernard Lovell, an English physicist and radio astronomer who was the first director of Jodrell The design for the façade of the Planet Pavilion is of the 408 MHz Map (radio map of the Universe created by radio astronomers 17 years ago) The Discovery Centre aims to attract 120,000 visitors compared to last years 80,000.

English Architecture

English Houses




Building designs by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios:

Broadcasting Place, Leeds, England
Broadcasting Place
photo : Will Pryce
Broadcasting Place

St Mary Magdalene Academy, Islington, London, UK
St Mary Magdalene Academy
photo © Nick Weall
St Mary Magdalene Academy

Gloucester Language Immersion Centre, England
Language Immersion Centre
image © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Gloucester Language Immersion Centre

English Architects

Comments / photos for the SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank page welcome

SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank Building

Website: Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre