In the middle of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) – a center where education, health, and science meet – stands the new global corporate headquarters and strategic hub for research and development (R+D) of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Its central location on the premises reflects the firm’s desire to be a fulcrum for collaboration and idea exchange in this community.
A work of Herzog & de Meuron, the building is a triangular glass disc with edges rounded to follow the shape of the site. The complex is characterized by a sawtooth roof that stretches in an east-to-west direction to optimize light indoors, and its zigzag continues vertically along the facade. Resting on six rectangular boxes grouped in twos, the disc opens in the middle to form a central courtyard, echoing the traditional arrangement of Cambridge University colleges. The six boxes, all clad in glass, run vertically through all floors and harbor the building’s main facilities: the laboratories. The use of glass maximizes transparency between parts.