This month our artist in residence Bill Hunt shares his interpretation of The Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London.
Location: Whitechapel, London
Architect: AMEC/Alsop Architects
2006 RIBA Award
2006 Civic Trust Award
2009 The Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award
In 1999 Queen Mary University of London instigated a search for architects to design their new ‘School of Medicine and Dentistry. The University organised a design competition and selected a shortlist of six teams for presentation and interview, finally selecting AMEC/Alsop Architects at the beginning of 2000.
The overall brief was to create a new building in Whitechapel for 400 research staff and students which would stimulate the exchange of information between medical research disciplines.
The design’s key driver of was the creation of a large single floor laboratory, 5.5m below ground level. Above the lab floor in a glazed pavilion accommodation was provided for cellular offices, open plan write up space, seminar rooms and meeting spaces (The Pods). A further unique element was also included, the ‘Centre of the Cell’ Pod – a facility providing a programme of science education for children and young people
A linear six floor Plant Wall would house all the plant for the labs and at its base was a 400 seat lecture theatre.