The Francis Crick Institute – London – UK


Location London, UK

Year 2014

Designer PLP Architecture

Client The Francis Crick Institute


In building the new Francis Crick Institute, the Crick partners aim was to create a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation in the heart of London.

Dedicated to research excellence, it has the scale, vision and expertise to tackle challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease.

Its work is helping to develop new treatments for illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, neurodegenerative conditions and infectious diseases.

It promotes connections between researchers, between disciplines and between academic institutions, healthcare organisations and businesses.

On 1 April 2015, the Francis Crick Institute reached an important milestone when researchers at the MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research and CRUK’s London Research Institute became part of the Francis Crick Institute.

The new building, located in the London Borough of Camden, sits amid a unique cluster of scientific skill, leading hospitals and one of the world’s top universities, UCL and close to St. Pancras International Station.

As well as to the station, even here the lightness of the roof is in contrast to the strength of the masonry at the base of the building that creates a rich material effect on the façade at street level. Thanks to an innovative and engineering design, the building achieves a high level of sustainability.

Palagio Engineering was responsible for the design and manufacture of vertical elements in a natural clay-made design in 9 different types with a length of about one meter and in 3 different color tones specifically designed for this project. The vertical elements in “paddle shaped terracotta” are placed vertically in front of the windows of the building and are fixed to the supporting structure by metal plates and special screws called “pig noise screw”. Because of the particular shape of the workpiece it wasn’t possible to obtain them with a conventional extrusion, for this reason, Palagio Engineering has used a molding technology called “slipcasting”.