The architects, HOK, have been chosen to design a world-leading medical research centre to fight disease in London.
The four consortium partners behind the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) - the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and UCL (University College London) - plan to create an internationally renowned science facility on 3.6 acres of land at Brill Place, behind the British Library in the Somers Town/King's Cross area of central London. The consortium has selected architects HOK as the preferred bidder to work with them on this project, subject to a period of contract finalisation.
HOK has a reputation for creating outstanding buildings which exemplify exacting design standards. The company has designed a variety of significant buildings including: Barclays Bank World Headquarters, London; the Darwin Centre Phase 1 at the Natural History Museum, London; King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia; and the Interdisciplinary Research Complex, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
UKCMRI was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 5 December 2007. It will carry out research of the highest quality using the latest technology to advance understanding of human health and disease.
The detailed design requirements of the facility and the science to be conducted inside are being discussed by an expert committee chaired by the Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse. Sir Paul said: "HOK will play an important role in helping us to create a building that will attract the world's best scientists to the UK. This country is already a leader in medical research - this project plays a fundamental role in our ambition to consolidate and build on that position. We want a building that will help our scientists work with experts from different disciplines, from centres of excellence across the country and the world, to make a tremendous difference to our understanding of human disease."