The high-tech Francis Crick Institute, located in the heart of London is the largest biomedical research facility under one roof in Europe.
Opened in 2016, the 1,000,000 square foot building features 1,553 rooms over 12 floors. About 1,250 scientists from 70 countries work across disciplines to discover the underlying causes of disease and generate new cures.
The Crick was formed by 6 of the most successful scientific and academic organizations in the UK and has a history of 9 Nobel prizes. It was designed by HOK and PLP Architecture.
Its name comes from Francis Crick, an eminent English biologist of the 20th century. He is known for discovering the structure of DNA with James Watson in 1953.
A central theme of the building is collaboration and sharing. The unique open plan layout features glass-walled laboratories lining the perimeter of the atrium and meeting spaces on each floor. Each lab space can be reconfigured in just hours, allowing scientists to respond quickly to the needs of their research.
The exterior and roof draw inspiration from the nearby St Pancras International station. The roof was made in 2 parts to hide the heating and air conditioning equipment and accommodate solar panels. Large bay windows allow for natural light. One-third of the building is located below ground to reduce the visual mass.
The innovative building is a perfect setting for this creative organization and it will be interesting to see what discoveries are unlocked in the years to come.