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Herzog and de Meuron to design Cambridge R&D centre

26 November 2013 No Comment

Famed Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron will lead the design of AstraZeneca’s new Cambridge-based research and development (R&D) centre.

Set to cost around £330 million to erect, the R&D centre (which will comprise a ‘hub’ of laboratories) will be accompanied by a new global headquarters for AstraZeneca; forming one of the brand’s three main R&D areas.

Health care professionals working in laboratory.Although the details haven’t yet been shared, what is known is that two of the largest plots will take over 4.6 and 5.2 acres respectively; making it a significant site and hopefully able to achieve AstraZeneca’s goal of improving its ‘pipeline activity’.

Taking inspiration from Cambridge’s history when creating design


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According to archdaily.com, the pair will take inspiration from Cambridge’s history when creating their design, which is set to provide both “intimate spaces” in which AstraZeneca’s researchers can brainstorm and open areas in which people can meet up.

Around 400 employees are expected to re-locate to the site upon its completion in 2014. Pierre de Meuron, a senior partner in the firm, adds:

“The historical architecture of Cambridge is mostly low-rise with internal courtyards that provide protected environments for people in their study and work. We want some of these qualities to be brought into the new building.”

AstraZeneca’s executive vice president of innovative medicines and early development, Mene Pangalos, is confident that the site will achieve “scientific leadership, while blending into the fabric of the thriving local scientific community”.


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Speaking to designboom.com, Pangalos also says that Herzog & de Meuron is the perfect firm to help Pangalos execute the brand’s vision, thanks to its experience in creating practical yet contemporary workspaces for the pharmaceutical industry.

Author: Deborah Bates    Date Written: 26 November 2013

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