A NEW building devoted to researching space science has been officially opened by the Astronomer Royal.

Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, was in Durham today (Friday, March 10) to open the new Ogden Centre at Durham University.

The £11.5m centre for research will be home to the university's Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC), the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (CEA) and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI).

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Professor Carlos Frenk, director of the ICC, said: “The new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics represents a wonderful contribution to the unique architectural heritage of Durham city.

“Its design fits the requirements of a top-class research centre, dedicated to seeking answers to some of the most fundamental questions about our universe such as: How and when did our universe begin? What is it made of? How did galaxies and other structures form?

“The new building conveys a sense of adventure that reflects the novelty and excitement of the research that goes on within it. It is an amazing place in which to work.”

It was designed by Studio Libeskind, the architectural practice behind the master plan for the World Trade Center redevelopment in New York.

The building was recently given the City of Durham Trust's architectural award, which it awards annually to the best development in the city.