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Epoch Biodesign Headquarters

London, United Kingdom

Epoch Biodesign, a life sciences company specializing in the creation of enzymes that convert plastic waste into everyday chemicals, sought to broaden its protein engineering platform by moving from Liverpool to London. Faced with a scarcity of suitable lab spaces, Epoch enlisted HOK to repurpose an existing office space into an innovative R&D workplace tailored to the company’s unique requirements.

The design team encountered several challenges related to finding and adapting an existing office building for laboratory use. These included security and access, structural limitations, infrastructure concerns and workspace quality. The team ultimately discovered an ideal solution in a 12,150-sq.-ft. basement tenancy in Finsbury Square, offering ample space and facilities for a versatile, high-spec, lab-enabled workspace.

HOK’s design emphasizes visual connectivity throughout the lab and flexible office areas. The spacious, open-plan Containment Level 2 lab features full-height interior glazing, low-temperature storage and washup spaces. Adjacent to the lab, the workspace includes areas for write-ups, meetings, collaborative workshops, presentations, exhibitions and a team dining/leisure space. The 30/70 lab-to-office ratio accommodates team growth and ensures adaptability for the future.

Supporting Epoch’s commitment to sustainable technologies, the design incorporates strategies to minimize waste and environmental impact while providing a healthy workplace for employees. These include repurposing ceiling planks, exposing raised floor tiles, reusing existing furniture and integrating biophilic elements. Completed in 2016, the eight-story building has a BREEAM Excellent certification

The new Finsbury Square location has proven highly successful for Epoch, enabling the company to advance its mission of scaling and industrializing biology for a healthier planet.

12,150 sq. ft. / 1,130 sq. m.
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