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The Francis Crick Institute 79

London, UK

Completion: 2016

Six leading medical research and educational

To reduce its visible mass, one-third of the

and between floors. Glass walls allow for

organizations have partnered to form the

structure is below ground, while the curved

views into labs, promoting transparency and

Francis Crick Institute, one of Europe’s largest

roof presents a gentle face to the community.

openness. Unless specific functions require

biomedical and translational research centers.

closed walls, lab neighborhoods are open to The design encourages collaboration and interaction among multidisciplinary

helped discover the structure of DNA, the

researchers including biologists, chemists,

Designed with flexibility, lab neighborhoods

institute is a landmark partnership between

physicists, engineers, computer scientists

can support rapid reconfiguration as

the UK’s three largest funders of biomedical

and mathematicians.

research programs change. A centralized

research — the Medical Research Council,

service distribution system enables a kit-

Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome

The facility is divided into four “laboratory

of-parts approach in which predetermined

Trust — and three of its leading universities:

neighborhoods” connected by two atria.

components can be plugged into service

University College London, Imperial College

The atria cross at the center of the building

spines in different combinations.

London and King’s College London.

to create a hub with break areas, informal collaboration space, a large central stair and

HOK collaborated on the final exterior design

Located in central London, the steel, glass and

a concierge serving the entire floor. Walkways

and massing with PLP Architecture. The

terra-cotta clad building occupies a full city

and informal meeting areas crisscross the

building is expected to achieve a BREEAM

block and creates strong architectural links

main atrium and connect neighborhoods.

Excellent rating.

to historic local buildings. Large cantilevered

◄ main entrance

encourage interaction.

Named after Francis Crick, the scientist who

bay windows and tall glass atria reduce the

The atria bring daylight into all of the labs

building’s impact at street level and maintain

and other spaces while enhancing the

natural light in workspaces and public areas.

visibility of people throughout the building

2015 design annual

980,000 sq. ft. / 91,000 sq. m.

2015 HOK Design Annual