Sainsbury Wellcome Building, London

Ian Ritchie Architects
Date Built
Howland Street & Cleveland Street
Professor John O'Keefe, Inaugural Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, is quoted as saying that, "...  In addition to providing a world-class neuroscience research centre, we believe that the building will add significantly to the aesthetic quality of the area."  The facility represents a partnership between the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

On the outside the striking features on the building are its wave-like glazed façade and the colonnade on Howland Street.  The construction company Kier Construction say on their website that, ".. With a façade created from over 6,000sq m of specially cast modular glass units, once complete the new Sainsbury Wellcome Centre will be an exciting and innovative structure providing a dramatic addition to the streetscape."  The undulating cast glass façade, credited to Frener & Reifer, reached the final of the "International Award for Facade Engineering Excellence 2013"  The façade is designed to provide high performance in terms of thermal, acoustic, light transmitting and low maintenance.

At the ceremony to commemorate the completion of the external structure musicians from the Royal Academy played a piece from Bach's Musical Offering.  That music has become a physical part of the building because a digital printout of Bach’s entire Musical Offering score hangs from the ceiling of the 90 metre long colonnade.

The colonnade also features a series of window displays explaining themes including illusion, distortion, inversion, deception and perception.

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