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Huge medical research centre design contract up for grabs

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The search for an architect to design possibly one of the largest medical research facilities ever to be built in the UK was launched this morning.

With an estimated budget of £200 million the massive central-London project for the Medical Research Council (MRC) may have to be housed on more than one site.

The body, which has been at the forefront of stem-cell research in this country, acknowledges that the 'multi-storey facility' could be split over two plots - the first building a 'heavily serviced' block worth £150 million and the second a 'very heavily serviced' building with a construction estimate of £50 million.

If the MRC decides on the twin-site option, there may then be a chance for two architectural teams to get involved in the project.

Although details of the scheme remain sketchy, it is understood the MRC is considering a design and build contract and that 'some or all of the design team will be novated to the contractor.'

The closing date for entries is 6 October. For more information see www.ted.europa.eu(OJEU number 2006/s163-175745).

by Richard Waite

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