Planning application submitted for Europe’s largest life sciences building

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Canary Wharf Group (CWG) and Kadans Science Partner are submitting a detailed planning application for a commercial health and life sciences building at Canary Wharf, London.

The companies said the 23-story 823,000 sq ft tower will be Europe’s largest and most technologically advanced life sciences facility.

Energy efficiency is at the forefront of the building’s design, adopting the NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) UK Design for Performance approach to optimizing operational energy use.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the building will be located at Canary Wharf’s North Quay and represents the first phase of the creation of a center for health and life sciences. An outline planning consent has already been secured for the wider scheme on the currently undeveloped 3.5 hectare site, which is located adjacent to the new Elizabeth Line, with the capacity to deliver 3.5 million sq ft of laboratory and affiliated space.

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60% lab space

The building has been designed to allow up to 60% of laboratories, with the ability to provide chemistry and high containment facilities. The building’s infrastructure employs a stacking program allowing for a distributed mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering (MEP) strategy across the stacks. This enables the building to provide laboratory space on every floor. 

To maximize flexibility across the building, it has been designed with highly efficient floor plates to accommodate a range of tenant sizes and sectors, with space allowing for businesses to expand and grow on the site.

The community-focused design approach aims to encourage collaboration and innovation by creating a stack of neighborhoods with the ability to create interconnecting communal spaces. 

The building also provides community spaces on the ground and first floors with a café and break out areas for conferences and meet ups in order to enhance collaboration within the building’s life science community. By opening the ground floor to the public, the desire is to make life’s sciences more approachable and less closed off. At the top of the building there is sky lounge and terrace for the tenants with views across London.

Canary Wharf Group and Kadans Science Partner‘s building details

The exterior is differentiated from the central Canary Wharf cluster, embracing the industrial heritage of North Quay. For environmental performance and thermal comfort, solar shading is incorporated that prevents overheating while allowing deep daylight penetration and views out.

The building also incorporates dedicated clinical and chemical waste facilities, multiple goods-lifts with oxygen monitors, freezer farms and specialized receiving and storage areas for hazardous, clinical and chemical goods. The building’s central service provision will include nitrogen (gaseous and liquid), CO2, and compressed air.

Shobi Khan, CEO of Canary Wharf Group, said: “We have been developing our vision for a world-class life sciences hub at Canary Wharf since 2019, and this is a significant milestone in our journey. Canary Wharf offers an unrivaled and exceptional environment with access to great transport, over 80 cafes, bars, and restaurants, 20 acres of green spaces and 5 km of waterside boardwalks, as well as access to a wide range of amenities including open-water swimming, go kart racing and an award-winning arts and events program. This project will continue the transformation of Canary Wharf, providing a sustainable, mixed-use environment for the next generation of life science offices.”

Existing tech companies

Michel Leemhuis, CEO of Kadans Science Partner, added: “Kadans prides itself on being a leading contributor to the evolution of the life sciences sector and this impressive new building at North Quay is a great example of how we are driving the development of innovative state-of-the-art lab buildings.

“By capitalizing on our previous experience and using lessons learned, we are able to make a significant step forward in the development of life science buildings. It marks a step change in the way ecosystems for knowledge-intensive businesses are designed and developed.”

Several science-led businesses are already located in Canary Wharf, with Genomics England moving into One Canada Square. Level39, a tech hub, has a community of 180 start-up and scaleup companies at Canary Wharf including medtech start-ups.

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