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Brits among finalists for Swedish super-lab

Foster + Partners and HOK have made an international shortlist to design one of the world’s biggest research facilities

The practices, which both have London offices, are among five consortia competing for the European Spallation Source (ESS) research project.

HOK is working with BIG on its submission into the contest to design a new facility in southern Sweden which will be a home for at least 5,000 people carrying out materials research and life science from 2019.

ESS has asked the following five teams to submit design proposals:

  • Bethem Crouwel, West8, Arup, Mandaworks
  • Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), HOK International Limited, Topotek1/man made land
  • Foster + Partners, Peter Walker and Partners, Research Facilities Design, Ramboll Group, Berg/CF Moller Architects
  • Henning Larsen Architects A/S, COBE ApS, SLA A/S, NNE Pharmaplan A/S
  • Tengbom, Mecanoo Architecten, Buro Happold

ESS director-general Colin Carlile told AJ he was excited by the quality of the shortlist.

’It is very pleasing that a science facility like this has attracted architects known for big building projects,’ he said. ’The British architects bring something different, as do all the others, but all the teams are multinational.’

He added that the winning design would need to demonstrate how the huge facility could meet tough carbon targets and not impose on the landscape.

’We are not looking for aircraft hangers,’ he said. ‘We are looking for Swedish elegance.

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