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    Gibbs Building, Wellcome Trust


    New London home for the world’s largest biomedical charity

    Location:London, United Kingdom
    Size:28,000 m²
    Client:The Wellcome Trust
    Awards:RIBA Regional Award;
    British Council for Offices (BCO): Corporate Workplace Award;
    Art and Work Awards: Outstanding Contribution to Art in the Working Environment;
    Structural Steel Design Award.

    The Wellcome Trust needed a new headquarters that would allow it to bring 500 staff together on one site, while enabling a greater engagement with the public realm.

    Located on London’s busy Euston Road, the new building adjoins the Trust’s existing, neo-classical Wellcome Building premises. A northern block faces Euston Road, linked by a generous atrium to a parallel lower block on the south side. A curving roof rises over both blocks. The entire ground floor can be used as one single floorplate, linked to the existing headquarters.

    To the north, the building’s ten-storey, 18m deep primary range reflects the scale of Euston Road. This block is broken down into five more human scaled towers, each containing 18m x 12m rooms separated by double-height mini-atria. The southern block is six storeys and nine metres deep, stepping down in response to the finer grain of the adjacent Gower Place and providing a suite of smaller rooms.

    The new accommodation gives flexibility for individuals, small teams or entire research departments to occupy a single room, a whole floor or a whole tower. All share the break-out space located around each mini-atrium.

    The organisation of the spaces is designed to encourage various sorts of staff interaction, from the informal and accidental to the formal and most confidential. In the northern block, the mini-atria help break down the large, open working areas into focused spaces for rapid and casual interaction between team members. The narrower southern block offers more conventional space for cellular or open-plan layouts.

    A top floor restaurant takes advantage of views both over the atrium and out across University College London and Bloomsbury beyond.