the global corporate headquarters of biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has topped out in the english city of cambridge. designed by swiss architecture practice herzog & de meuron, the project forms part of the cambridge biomedical campus (CBC) and will open in stages throughout 2018. the concrete frame is now complete, with focus now shifting towards the installation of the roof canopy, the external glass cladding, and the internal fit out.


the structural concrete frame is now complete
image courtesy of BDP

 

 

in developing the scheme, herzog & de meuron worked closely with AstraZeneca’s scientists to create a design that reflected the company’s collaborative approach to research. open laboratories and transparent glass walls seek to enable new ways of working across disciplines, while a publicly accessible central courtyard is designed to ‘put science on full display’. BDP is serving as the project’s lead consultant and is also responsible for its executive architecture, combined engineering, and landscaping.


the scheme takes the shape of a two-storey disc
image © herzog & de meuron

 

 

the structure, which takes the shape of a two-storey disc, features a continuous oval walkway along its perimeter. blocks of transparent laboratories are arranged around a centrally positioned public courtyard, which encompasses the three main entrances to the building. large trees and the green lawn in the center of the space establish a destination for recreation and informal meetings. once complete, the strategic R&D site will become AstraZeneca’s largest base for oncology research, as well as housing scientists focused on respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.

herzog & de meuron reveal designs for AstraZeneca's cambridge headquarters
glazed façades allow daylight to permeate the building
image © herzog & de meuron

 

 

we have assessed the achievements in the construction very highly up to now, and are confident that what remains ahead of us will be done with passion from all parties, to successfully complete this project,’ said pierre de meuron, herzog & de meuron. ‘the architecture supports AZ’s ambition to be a key point of exchange and collaboration in the CBC community, and makes it visible with a porous building that is accessible from three different sides.’

herzog de meuron astrazeneca corporate headquarters cambridge designboom
the central courtyard is publicly accessible 
image © herzog & de meuron

 

 

our new global HQ and strategic R&D site designed by world-leading architects herzog & de meuron embodies AstraZeneca’s innovation-led transformation and I am delighted to mark today’s milestone, which signals our progress in advancing a world-class environment where science can thrive,’ added pascal soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca. ‘as a long-standing investor in UK science, we believe cambridge offers a tremendously vibrant academic and life-sciences ecosystem that can truly catalyze discovery and innovation.’

 

see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

herzog de meuron astrazeneca corporate headquarters cambridge designboom
the design seeks to reflect the company’s collaborative approach to research
image © herzog & de meuron


the complex will open in stages throughout 2018
image © herzog & de meuron


aerial view showing the building in context
image © herzog & de meuron

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