Francis Crick Institute

I drove past the Francis Crick Institute recently which is rising immediately to the north of the British Library and was impressed by its scale, its grand barrel-vaulted roof and its use of terracotta to reflect, but not replicate, Sandy Wilson’s use of brick in the British Library.   So, I was pleased to be invited to go on a site tour by Larry Malcic of HOK, who has overseen its design and construction.   It is indeed a huge project – ‘a cathedral of science’ as its Director, Sir Paul Nurse, calls it – broken up into four quarters, all open plan, with tiny offices for the Principal Investigators, in order to encourage social interaction:-

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4 thoughts on “Francis Crick Institute

  1. pbmum says:

    It would be interesting to know how scientists working in large open plan labs have found it to be. It makes so much sense theoretically. There is, of course, an example of this form of working much closer to your home at the Will Alsop Blizard building in Whitechapel. Haven’t been there for years (my children are now past the age of being willing to visit the Centre of the Cell) but I did wonder when visiting there how an introvert scientist would cope with that sort of nowhere to hide set up. Hopefully the Crick Institute will feature in a future Open House programme.

  2. Would be interested to know if they told you on your tour that Conrad Shawcross RA had won an international sculpture competition to make a work for the outside space infront of the Francis Crick institute. It will be one of the largest public art sculptures in London and is an engineering feat, standing on a 1m base and rising 14m high to the equivalent span at its highest point of a double decker bus ! All in Corten, ‘weathered steel’ ! It will be unveiled next spring. We desperately need some more sculptures of this quality in London.

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