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Ogden Centre East building opened

18th October 2002

The Prime Minister Tony Blair opened the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics on 18 October 2002. During his visit Mr Blair said:

University student
I have no doubt at all that great things will be done and discovered here. For a new generation of young people in an area like this, which has gone through massive economic changes in the past few years, it offers the prospect of a future that they can both work in, understand and prosper in.

Prime Minister Tony Blair
Opening the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, 18th October 2002

Then Prime Minister and MP for Sedgefield, the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP arrives to open the Ogden East building

Tony Blair signs the register in the lobby of the Ogden East building


Tony Blair addresses a room full of academics and other dignataries at the opening of the Ogden East building


Tony Blair unveils plaque to commemorate opening of Ogden East building


Carlos Frenk with Tony Blair in the Ogden Centre East building, with some cosmological simulated images on a big display board

Tony Blair meets Carlos Frenk, the Director of the ICC

Tony Blair meets students at work on a computer on a visit to the new Ogden East building

The Prime Minister talked to students about their work

Sir Peter Ogden signs the register whilst opening the Ogden East building

Sir Peter Ogden was also in attendance


Ogden Centre East opened its doors on 15 November 2002 thanks to the combined support of research councils, the government,industry and the Ogden Trust itself, all of which backed the University in providing a new building. The Centre, together with its staff and equipment, represented an additional investment of about 20 millon pounds in science in the region. At the time it provided the opportunity to house two key branches of research: - the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology - the Institute for Computational Cosmology "ICC" in a common building. Their work represents a world-class contribution to international advances in the most fundamental building-blocks of matter, on the one hand,and the evolution of the Universe, on the other. ICC then moved to the new Ogden Centre West building after it opened in 2017.

During the Opening, honorary degrees were conferred on Professor Richard Ellis, Director of Caltech Optical Observatories, and Professor Sir Peter J Ogden, Founder and Chairman of Trustees, the Ogden Trust. Astronomer Royal Professor Sir Martin Rees and Professor Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith, formerly Director General of CERN, gave talks.

Collection of images from the inauguration of the Ogden East building


Informal photos taken during the unveiling of the new sculptures by the late John Robinson, generously donated by Damon de Laszlo and Robert A. Hefner III to the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics.

There are three sculptures: Starburst, Forces of Nature, and Journey. These symbolic sculptures touch upon elements of the research undertaken within the Ogden Centre.

The Sculpture outside the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics is formally unveiled, called Forces of Nature

The Forces of Nature sculpture outside the building is unveiled (May 2004)

Forces of Nature Sculpture

The Forces of Nature Sculpture

Starburst Sculpture that hangs in the lobby of the Ogden East building

The Starburst Sculpture hangs in the lobby of the Ogden East building

Starburst Sculpture with plaque

Image of the sculpture with the plaque crediting John Robinson, supported by Damon de Laszlo and Robert A Hefner III

Journey sculpture

The Journey Sculpture, located in the quad between the Ogden East and Rochester buildings

Aerial view of the quad, with the Journey sculpture hanging above its pond

Viewed from above, the shaped landscaping of the quad and the sculpture

Gathering of people for the Sculpture unveiling

Attendees for the unveiling

Gathering of people for the sculpture unveiling

Sir Peter Ogden (left) poses with Damon de Laszlo (right), industrialist and founder of the De Laszlo Foundation who kindly donated the sculptures.

Carlos Frenk with sculptor John Robinson

Carlos Frenk with sculptor John Robinson

The Ogden Centre's 10th Anniversary Celebrations - Sept 18th, 2012

In one of the most important events in the 180 year history of Durham University, world-renowned physicist Prof. Sir Peter Higgs, after whom the Higgs Boson particle is named, visited the Ogden Centre to mark its tenth anniversary as a world-class centre of excellence for research in Physics.

That morning there was an Open Day at the Ogden Centre, followed by a small symposium on the "Five Ogden Questions" (these are the five questions that, when the Ogden Centre was opened, Peter Ogden asked James Stirling and Carlos Frenk to list where we hoped progress could be made in the near future.)

The talks took place in the Wolfendale lecture theatre. In the evening there was a celebratory dinner.