For the design of Europe’s largest biomedical research center under one roof, the team reimagined how a nearly 1-million-sq.-ft. building in central London could aid the organization’s vision to “pursue discovery without boundaries.”
At the Crick, there are no departments, specific research directions or physical barriers dividing the facility’s 120 labs. The flexible space enables interdisciplinary researchers, who include biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians, to follow their instincts and explore their scientific curiosities. From the cathedral-like atrium, completely open lab neighborhoods and ample areas for spontaneous interaction to the transparent, highly flexible labs and enormous white boards acting as walls, every aspect of the design contributes to the building’s ability to act as an incubator that supports the Crick’s cutting-edge research approach and entrepreneurial business model.
“We now work with and talk to a broader range of scientists from a broader range of disciplines and backgrounds than I ever have in my previous life as a researcher,” says Abigail Perrin, a Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Parasitology at the Francis Crick Institute. “This is particularly valuable because in the past, my best ideas have come from conversations with people who have a different perspective from working in a different area of research.”
Shortly after the Crick opened, R&D Magazine named it the year’s best new lab.
Last year, the HOK-designed Mercedes-Benz Stadium was named a finalist in the same Fast Company “Spaces, Places and Cities” category.