Designed by architect AHMM, the London Discovery Research Center project is expected to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating and will have an innovative biophilic façade incorporated as part of the plan for a carbon-efficient building.
Construction of the complex could begin later this year, if rubber-stamped by the London Mayor. Merck will move 800 employees to the £1bn complex, which is expected to be completed in 2025.
The ambitious project is being advanced with the pharma giant by local building owner the Precis Group.
Its low-rise existing Belgrove House on Euston Road will be demolished to make way for the research building, also incorporating a new London Underground station entrance.
The innovative double-skin façade has been developed to reduce energy in line with the project’s low-carbon design agenda. These ‘façade zones’ could bring plants and greenery into the building to add a natural counterpoint to the urban setting.
The rest of the stepped building envelope will be brick clad.
At the same planning meeting, Precis Group also gained consent for an affordable housing development on the site of the nearby Acorn House building.
This will replace the 1960s office with 33 new homes in a nine-storey block.