The Francis Crick Institute 79
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
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.
to historic local buildings. Large cantilevered
◄ main entrance
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.