Architecture

The Francis Crick Institute is housed in a striking new building designed by architects HOK with PLP Architecture.

Developed with input from scientists, local residents and community groups, the building supports the goals of the institute and promotes public engagement. Find out how the building developed as a result of local enagagement.

Architecturally, there are strong links between the new institute and the historic buildings in the local area. Both the masonry and the distinctive vaulted roof recall features of the adjacent St Pancras International station.

The vaulted roof is arranged into two shells. This feature is not simply decorative, it conceals the heating and cooling units and incorporates solar panels.

Large cantilevered bay windows along with tall glass atria reduce the impact of the building at street level and maintain natural light in both work and public areas. A third of the building is below ground to reduce its visible mass.

The main eastern entrance, opposite St Pancras International, faces a new public square on Midland Road. At the western side of the building, a garden framed by trees and benches has been created.

Within the building, the laboratories are arranged over four floors. A typical floor consists of four interconnected blocks which bring together staff working in different fields. The laboratories are designed to be adaptable to change as new scientific opportunities emerge in the future.

The building was completed in August 2016 and the institute now houses some 1500 staff, making it one of Europe's largest centres of biomedical research.

  • The building was designed to support the scientific goals of the institute and modified in response to feedback from local residents and community groups.
  • Extensive use of glass reduces the impact of the building on the local area while flooding the building with natural light.
  • The curved roof conceals much of the plant and machinery required for building services such as heating and gives the building a distinctive look.