Darwin Centre

Natural History Museum



The laboratories in this major addition to the Natural History Museum accommodate over 200 research staff in support of one of the world’s most important natural science collections. These laboratories support research and analysis of over 20 million botanical and entomological specimens, including those from Charles Darwin’s original Beagle voyage. The laboratory spaces are located within a glazed box that surrounds a large “cocoon” which houses collection preservation and gallery spaces. The laboratories were designed using a highly flexible, open plan concept. Temperature and humidity are tightly controlled throughout the research spaces. Specialized functions include sample preparation, DNA analysis, and sample imaging. In order to integrate science into the visitor experience, certain parts of the laboratories were designed to allow for public viewing of the scientific work.


London, England, United Kingdom

  • Services: Laboratory Design
  • Completed: 2009

Area Summary

  • Gross Building: 172,200
  • Lab and Lab Support: 15,000

Cost Summary

  • Construction Cost: $124,386,000


  • C.F. Moller Architects


  • Torben Eskerod Photography