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PLP replaces HOK on Camden superlab exterior

PLP has been appointed to re-design the exterior of HOK’s £520 million UKCMRI research lab, following opposition to the scheme by planning officers

The recently founded practice took the job following a last-minute design competition, launched just four weeks ago.

PLP will now work collaboratively with HOK who have already worked up complex functional arrangements for the centre.

Fred Pilbrow, partner at PLP said: ‘We are able to come in with a fresh set of eyes.

 ‘It should be a London landmark building, while at the same time a building that addresses its distinct setting.

‘It’s not us coming in an displacing HOK, it’s rather we are a new ingredient in the mix.’

Pilbrow said his proposal aims to create a ‘positive relationship’ with the community of deprived Somers Town, set to be transformed by the huge centre.

A spokesperson for client UKCMRI said it was HOK’s decision to bring in the new design team.

He said: ‘They want to make sure they are addressing all the issues that were raised by the planning authorities.’

A planning application is set to be made this summer.


Previous story (AJ 7.12.09)


Unveiled: HOK’s £520m bio-medical centre


The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) today revealed plans for a bio-medical research centre in Camden (London), designed by HOK architects

The scheme features a cruciform-shaped atrium and is designed to encourage cooperation between scientists working on the 3.6 acre site behind the British Museum and interaction with residents of the surrounding St Pancras and Somers Town district of Camden.

The UKCMRI research centre is a partnership made up of Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, University College London and the Wellcome Trust, and will accommodate laboratories for research into illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and flu.

A proposal for the 79,000m² UKCMRI bio-medical research centre will be submitted to planning officials in spring 2010, with work expected to commence early 2011 for completion in late 2014 or early 2015.


Large labroatory floors are linked together by a cruciform atrium that invites natural light and creates a collaborative heart at the central crossing - according to UKCMRI. UKCMRI by HOK





Readers' comments (2)

  • This brilliant design by HOK is intriguing and displays the best use of natural light as well as an inviting atrium. The structure alone is sure to attract some of the best minds to this R&D effort, as being in this environment daily looks like a trip to an attractive public place full of energy.

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    good luck PLP

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