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Cancer Research Facility, Cambridge

Now known as the Li Ka Shing Centre, this flagship research facility is located on the Addenbrookes medical campus.  Livingston Eyre were involved from the masterplanning stage, right through to completion of the new buildings and accompanying multi-storey car park set in a new public open space.

The main blocks are focused around a large, peaceful courtyard, its shifting linear pattern of pleached trees and paved strips springing from the dramatic concrete fins of the atrium. A generous terrace, leading from the entrance, has been designed as a gathering area  which provides opportunities for the building’s users to meet and exchange ideas. 

The approach to the complex is announced by a block formed of birch trees, their trunks echoing the white inclined walls on which they are set above the road.  Alongside, a sweep of lawn leads to a dark pool in which the atrium is reflected, lending an atmosphere of serenity. 

A screen of native planting disguises the bulk of the buildings from the outside and links together existing wildlife corridors.

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with: Anshen Allen Architects for: Cambridge University / Hutchinson CR:UK status: completed 2006