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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Champalimaud Foundation Centre, Lisbon, Portugal

The development of a new 300,000 sq ft cancer research facility in Lisbon has officially begun.
Symbolically, a small robot placed the first stone of the Champalimaud Foundation Centre at a ceremony attended by Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates. Officials hope the unit will lead researchers to make new discoveries, helping to enhance disease treatment and to bring forward scientific exploration in Portugal.

Consisting of three buildings, the centre is located at Pedroucos Dock on the banks of Tagus River and has been designed to provide a comfortable environment for people staying at its outpatient cancer clinic, as well as being environmentally friendly and enjoying optimal energy and resource management.

Building A will house a rainforest garden which can be visited by patients and staff, in addition to diagnostic, treatment and wellness centres; Building B is to encompass an auditorium, exhibition centre and restaurant; while Building C is expected to be an open-air amphitheatre to hold community events and public performances.

Stephen McDaniel, a principal at RMJM, commented that the project is “an excellent example of a holistic, site-specific approach to sustainability”.

He continued: “For example, the proximity to the Tagus River allows us to have a geothermal heat-sink for temperature control, which is further controlled by the massive rainforest garden in the main building. The garden will be 80 x 40 metres, the size of a US football field.”

RMJM Hillier are the laboratory and clinical design architects for the project, with Charles Correa appointed as design architect and Portuguese firm Consiste architect of the record.

The Champalimaud Foundation Centre is set to be the first development in a major regeneration of the Belem area of Lisbon, with an expected opening date of October 2010.

Darren Maybury
architecture NOW

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