Herzog & de Meuron’s design for the new Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters for AstraZeneca unveiled
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 18 July 2014 – AstraZeneca discloses the design for their new flagship Global Research and Development (R&D) Centre and Corporate Headquarters as part of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Herzog & de Meuron propose a two-storey disc with a unique oval shape that creates a continuous protected walk along the building. The disc is supported by transparent blocks of laboratories and amenities, which articulate a porous ground floor and form the primary spatial experience by framing a central courtyard. The courtyard is open to the public and encompasses the three main entrances to the building. The proportion and scale of the courtyard refer to the historical colleges in central Cambridge. Large trees and the green lawn in the centre of the courtyard establish a place for recreation and informal meetings. The internal design of the building promotes visible science in a synergetic, sharing environment. High-technology laboratories are separated from work and circulation spaces by translucent partitions, fostering a workplace environment based on communication and collaboration. A ring area on the first and second floor overlooking the central courtyard provides a large diversity of spaces and arrangements for employees to meet, work and exchange. The saw-tooth roof brings top light into the deep floor plates. The zig-zag geometry of the roof is continued vertically, structuring the facade and giving it this distinctive character.
The AstraZeneca Campus comprises a North and a South plot and is located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The masterplan will be delivered in phases. The first phase includes the Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters with the central courtyard on the North plot; it also includes the R&D Enabling Building and the Energy Centre on the South plot. Subsequent development will follow the completion of the first phase. Planned are a series of buildings on the South plot enclosing an elongated park that uses a similar formal planting language as the courtyard on the North plot. A consistent material palette throughout the North and the South plot unifies all buildings. The landscape concept creates a green carpet into which individual buildings, path systems and infrastructure are embedded and that allows a continuous visual connection between the separate elements.