Cancer Research UK formed a partnership with the University of Cambridge to create the Cambridge Institute. They brought together 20 diverse research groups and core facilities whilst capitalising on the synergy of the Cambridge area. Their new home is the Li Ka Shing Centre – a flagship facility for enhanced translational research located on Addenbrooke’s medical campus.
The design supports multi-disciplinary collaboration between research groups and clinicians. Four generous open lab spaces were conceived as studios and linked together by a series of meeting room and write-up areas. There is a rich public zone at ground level – including exhibition hall, dining area and lecture theatre – which creates a town square for the institute. These areas provide opportunities for scientists and clinicians to meet up informally and generate spontaneous discussions.
The architectural inspiration came from Corpus Christi College in the nearby historic quarter of University of Cambridge. The emotional tone is set in glass and gleaming brilliant concrete and an elegantly proportioned courtyard projects a sense of optimism and contemplation. This is a building which inspires discovery.