“ The sense of being close to nature — in some parts of the building, the change from inside to outside appears seamless. When we show visitors around, it really has the ‘wow’ factor! ”

Professor Janet Thornton Director, European Bioinformatics Institute

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) hosts some of the world’s most important collections of biological data. Part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), EBI grew out of EMBL's pioneering work of providing public biological databases to researchers worldwide. The Institute's website receives an average of two million hits per day, and its scientists continually develop new tools for the biocomputing community.

Located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the United Kingdom — and following on from the success of the Human Genome Project and the neighboring Sanger Institute — the EBI needed additional space to accommodate a growth of 150 more staff, and to continue research and training in bioinformatics.

The rural setting of the Genome Campus was a source of inspiration for the new EBI addition. The design concept was to bring nature into the office and to create a modern, flexible workplace that would provide bioinformaticists the space and technology they need for their intense, heads-down work, while opening up their workplace to the surrounding landscape.

Adjacency of EBI to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


AIA UK, Excellence in Design Awards Commendation