Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners' first building in the usa will be the Donald Danforth Plant Science Centre (above), which is about to start on site in St Louis, Missouri. The firm has blended glass and aluminium for a 'hard and machine-like' hi-tech look with warmer textured wooden cladding to welcome visitors to the non-profit 16,500m2 centre. It will have an internal street and two five-floor wings around a central atrium. Laboratories are linked by walkways, platforms and bridges and there will be a library, meeting rooms and lounge area. Work is due to be completed in 2001. The centre will pioneer development in biotechnology industry in the region, and is being financed by local universities, Missouri Botanical Garden and private firms.