Francis Crick Insitute; Francis Crick Insitute;
Francis Crick Institute , London

Biomedical research institute designed to encourage collaboration.

Breakthrough medical advances are being made every day, and scientists in London’s Francis Crick Institute are busy digging deep into the workings of the human body to bring them to the public as quickly as possible. Our role was to design them a flexible, modular home that can be adapted to the future needs of science research.

Building a lasting legacy for Sir Francis Crick

The ambition was to create a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation in the heart of London. Named the Francis Crick Institute in honour of the great British scientist who discovered the DNA double helix structure, the centre needed to possess the same qualities that its namesake did: hardworking, visionary and innovative.

Project Summary


85,000 metres squared

1stEurope’s largest biomedical research institute under one roof

1,250scientists call
 the building 
home

The central London location meant we had to work fast

Speed is of the essence when you’re planning an 85,000m2 building in central London. Before construction on the shell of the building started in June 2011, we developed a procurement route that shortened the time on site by identifying and evaluating the client’s critical success factors against the design

Francis Crick Institute exterior Francis Crick Institute exterior

We looked at every possibility to find the best solution

Our findings gave us a solution that meant basement construction could start ahead of the original programme. It was welcome news that then threw another complexity into the mix: the basement was where the highly sensitive equipment – including five nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers – had to be located to prevent vibrational interference.

Francis Crick Institute aerial photo Francis Crick Institute aerial photo
The Francis Crick institute is now the largest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe

The result is a building that works as hard as its inhabitants

Opened in November 2016, the Francis Crick Institute is one of the largest, most sophisticated research facilities of its kind. It’s home to over 1,500 staff – including 1,250 scientists – each working with the aim to make numerous breakthroughs in curing diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative conditions and heart disease. True to its ambition, the centre’s flexible and modular design means that whatever its scientists want to achieve, the building will be fit to respond.