The Francis Crick Institute Project Cover
Ph.: © Simon Kennedy

The Francis Crick Institute

London | United Kingdom
Business Area
Gartner, Scheldebouw
Lead ArchitectHOK
Façade ArchitectPLP Architecture
Ph.: © Simon Kennedy
The Concept

The Francis Crick Institute at King’s Cross in London is one of the largest European centres for biomedical research. The building, that can house around 1,500 employees, is characterized by the generous use of glass and two vast vaulted roofs. A 40 m (131 ft) high traverse atrium with a 130 m (426 ft) long roof allows a great deal of light into the building. The 4.5 m (15 ft) vertical glass fins assume the structural function of the façade mullions of the main curtain walls. Dichroic interlayers have been integrated into about one third of the glass fins which, depending on the direction of light, shimmer in various spectral colors. Like a chameleon, the main entrance façade constantly changes its appearance. The architectural design of the research centre, in which multi-disciplinary scientists seek to find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases, was developed in consultation with scientists, local residents and community groups. The façade's terracotta cladding and vaulted roofs recall features of the neighbouring St. Pancreas International Station.

The Francis Crick Institute building has achieved an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating.

The Project
Scope of Work

34,800 sqm (374,600 sq ft) of stick system façade, curtain wall and terracotta cladding by Scheldebouw; 2,750 sqm (29,600 sq ft) atrium façades to the east and west of the building and 1,800 sq ft (19,400 sq ft) glazed atrium roof by Gartner.

Of the Institute’s total façade area of approx. 20,000 sqm (215,300 sq ft), Gartner manufactured the 2,750 sqm (29,600 sq ft) atrium façades to the east and west of the building as well as the atrium roof, Scheldebouw delivered the stick system façade; (mullion/transom system) the curtain walls and the terracotta clad façades. The atrium façade comprises 5,080 mm story-high double glazed units with grid dimensions of 750 mm. The vertical structural fins made of laminated glass comprising 3x10 mm toughened glass with Sentry-Plus-Interlayers are 4,530 mm long and 470 mm deep. Stainless steel shoes, fitted on both sides, connect the glass fins to the primary supporting structure by means of a horizontally spanning 6 m (20 ft) round tube with a diameter of 273 mm. The primary horizontal support tubes are in turn supported by vertical steel columns with a diameter of 406 mm, which extend the full height of the façade. All curtain walls are blast-resistant. The insulated glass panels in the west façade of the building have Ipasol Ultraselect 62/29 high-performance coating and are filled with argon. Inner and outer panes are made of laminated low-iron glass. The double glazing on the east façade has a low-e-coating and argon cavity. Motorized fabric blinds are suspended, floor-by-floor, on the east side of the atrium façade to control solar glare.

Technical Details

OWNER: The Francis Crick Institute

CLIENT: The Francis Crick Institute





CONTRACTOR: Laing O'Rourke

FAÇADE CONSULTANT: Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG (EPPAG)

More Information

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