The Francis Crick Institute - the future work place

In 2018, Pilbrow & Partners has been appointed to enhance the working environment for the Operations team at the Francis Crick Institute in King’s Cross, adapting spaces to encourage greater collaboration and knowledge sharing within, and between, departments.

The practice was invited to enter the competition following Fred Pilbrow’s previous involvement in the original design of the new building which opened in 2016.


The Francis Crick Institute

Kings Cross, London

Gross Floor Area
4804m2 GEA


This worldclass institute brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across multiple disciplines. Our proposals seek to facilitate and improve these working relationships through open dialogue, cooperation and wellbeing within the office environment.

Exchange of ideas is critical to the Francis Crick Institute’s mission. As such, the proposal improves connectivity between the first and second floor and broadens the functionality of the interior space by incorporating additional ‘quiet spaces’ to allow for focused and concentrated working.

Reseach and advanced data analyses informed our design in finding the optimum solution for space and department distribution. Face to face interviews, workshops and online questionnaires sought detail on how teams operated and the level of satisfaction with their current working environment.

We developed AI algorithms to test and appraise potential design scenarios. We brought in specialists in environmental design and lighting design and we worked together with pedestrian movement specialist Space Syntax to inform the design approach.