International Centre for Life

Terry Farrell and Partners, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2000


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Bright colours represent the coding colours of DNA 

David Churchill and Tim Soar     Download Original

  • Bright colours represent the coding colours of DNA    
  • View of Global Garden    
  • The new public square preserves a listed market keeper’s house     
  • View from Marlborough Crescent    
  • The distinctive organic shape of Global Garden    
  • An open metal screen marks the entrance to the square    
  • View of the Bioscience Centre and entrance to the public square    
  • Internal view of Global Garden visitor attraction    
  • View of the eastern facade    
  • The complex resembles the shape of a human embryo    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Section    
  • Screen shot of curved glass wall    
  • Model of structure    
  • Model of structure    
  • Model of structure    
  • Detail of screen    
  • Detail of screen    

Mixed-use regeneration project in Newcastle's west end, taking the shape of a human embryo

The International Centre for Life is a mixed-use development intended to bring together scientists, clinicians, academics and the public for the advancement of the life sciences.

The masterplan includes a genetics research institute for Newcastle University, a Bioscience Centre housing commercial research and development, and a public attraction named Global Garden intended to promote interest in the life sciences. These buildings are arranged around a central open space, resembling in plan the shape of a human embryo and preserving at its centre a listed market keeper’s cottage.

Newcastle University’s Institute of Human Genetics houses research and teaching facilities along with a clinic for patients. The bright colours used throughout – green, yellow, blue and red – represent the code of DNA, the discovery of which launched the modern science of genetics.


  • Begun: Dec 1996
  • Completed: Dec 2000
  • Floor area: 25,300m2
  • Sectors: Education, Civic, Public realm, Office, Arts and culture, Healthcare
  • Total cost: £56M
  • Tender date: Oct 1996
  • Procurement: JCT 80 and JCT 98
  • Address: Times Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4EP, United Kingdom

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