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World-Changing Research in the Heart of London

The Francis Crick Institute
London, UK

“From the outset, the Francis Crick Institute has been an unprecedented collaboration between the UK’s leading medical research organizations, academic institutions and industry.”

Sir Paul Nurse
Director, The Francis Crick Institute

The building design encourages the sharing of knowledge and collaboration, distinguishing the Francis Crick Institute from other research facilities and helping to attract the world’s most talented scientists.

Located in the heart of London, the institute is a landmark partnership between the UK’s three largest funders of biomedical research: the Medical Research Council; Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust and three of its leading universities: UCL; Imperial College London and King’s College London. Scientists will carry out discovery biomedical research to help better understand why disease develops and to find new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a range of illnesses. 

As lead architect, HOK designed a world-class scientific facility that encourages collaboration and innovation. The interior balances the need to provide formal research areas with a mix of informal break-out areas designed to draw together people from different organizations. An auditorium, exhibition area and teaching lab located adjacent to the main entrance underline the Crick’s fundamental ethos of collaboration, communication and community engagement.

Developed in collaboration with PLP Architecture, the design of the building exterior responds to the area’s architectural heritage while respecting the residential community. Both the masonry and the distinctive vaulted roof recall features of the adjacent St. Pancras International station. The large, cantilevered bay windows along with the tall glass atria reduce the impact of the building at street level and provide natural light in work and public areas.

“Buildings cannot cure cancer or solve the threat from antibiotic-resistant diseases,” wrote Rich Heap on UBM’s Future cities website. “But the design of buildings can help the scientists who try to. That is the hope of the six partners behind the Francis Crick Institute in London — known as ‘The Crick’ for short. This institute is set to be the biggest centre for biomedical research in Europe when it opens, due in 2015.”



BREEAM Excellent anticipated


635,000 sq. ft. / 59,000 sq. m.


Interior Design
Laboratory Planning
Site Planning


Number of scientists who can use the facility


Size, in square feet, of the institute’s barrier research facility


Size, in square feet, of the institute’s biocontainment space (BSL-3 or higher)



6 August 2013
“Large Biomedical Institute Under Construction in London”
Civil Engineering 

10 June 2013
“For the Crick, Sharing is Curing”
UBM Future Cities

10 June 2013
“London’s Francis Crick Institute Will Be New World Hub for Medical Research”
HOK News 

31 October 2012
“The Francis Crick Institute: Biomedical Research Without Barriers”

8 November 2011
“Sir Paul Nurse on the Francis Crick Institute: Step Aboard the Mother Ship of Medicine”
The Telegraph

21 June 2011
“UK to Take Unprecedented Step in International Science Leadership”
The Francis Crick Institute

7 December 2009

“Shaping the Future of Science: Plans Revealed for New World-Leading Biomedical Research Institute in Central London”
The Francis Crick Institute