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CABE backs £520 million bio-medical research centre

CABE has thrown its weight behind PLP and HOK’s £520 million bio-medical research centre in Camden, London

The UKCMRI research centre will be home to 1,250 scientists on a 1.5 hectare site (AJ 06.09.10) and is designed ‘to encourage cooperation between scientists and interaction with residents’ of the surrounding St Pancras and Somers Town district of Camden.

CABE’s design review panel praised the proposal’s ‘logical’ cruciform layout and the ‘generous special arrangement’ and welcomed ‘moves to create a strong sense of engagement with the public realm and local community by locating the public functions at street level’.

However the commission raised a few notes of caution. The panel said: ‘The layout and design of separate entrances for staff and visitors is likely to cause confusion. The desire lines from the station, along with the welcoming signal projected by the broad public entrance stair, are likely to mislead a visitor into approaching the staff entrance.’

Subject to these comments, CABE said it was fully supportive of the £520 million project: ‘We recognise the significant improvements made in design development over the past two years, and support this important project going ahead.’

In April this year PLP was brought in to work ‘in collaboration’ with HOK on the project. The practices ‘sexed up’ designs were unveiled in late June.

Read the full report here.

UKCMRI The entrance atrium looking east

UKCMRI The entrance atrium looking east

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