Designs have been released for AstraZeneca's planned new corporate HQ and global R&D center in Cambridge, UK. The facility will cost around £330 million (US$560 million). Designed by Herzog & de Meuron architects, it will include high-tech research spaces, collaboration spaces and a green, low-energy design.
Herzog & de Meuron has designed a number of iconic, high-profile buildings, such as the lavish 56 Leonard "Jenga Building" in New York and the Beijing National Stadium (or “Bird’s Nest”), for example. The recently unveiled AstraZeneca project, however, is more reminiscent of Apple's "Spaceship Campus," which is currently under construction.
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The proposed AstraZeneca campus is a two-story loop that encloses a central courtyard. It will be possible to walk continuously around the building, which is designed to provide ample meeting and collaboration spaces and to allow for quick movement between those spaces.
The building will house transparent laboratories to "promote visible science in a synergetic, sharing environment." Other labs, separated by translucent partitions, will cater for more high-tech work that requires a more focused work environment.
In addition to fostering an environment that is conducive to communication and collaboration, the campus will be built with a number of green aspects taken into account. According to AstraZeneca, the campus will feature low-energy-designed labs, green roofing and the largest ground source heat pump in Europe. Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) Excellent status is being sought for the site.
The location of the campus, in Cambridge, will enable AstraZeneca to capitalize on the area's well regarded life sciences and research communities. Existing collaborations that the company has in the area include work with the Medical Research Council on better understanding the biology of disease and a partnership with the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.
The video below provides an animated impression of the planned AstraZeneca Campus.