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HOK Selected to Design AstraZeneca’s New R&D Site in Kendall Square

CAMBRIDGE, MA — HOK is designing the interiors of AstraZeneca’s new research and development (R&D) site in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 570,000-square-foot facility will serve as a key innovation center for the biopharmaceutical company. It will integrate teams from AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, with the latter acquired by AstraZeneca in 2021.

Located in the heart of Kendall Square’s booming life sciences cluster, this 16-story tower will be AstraZeneca’s fourth strategic R&D site worldwide. It also will serve as the global headquarters for Alexion.

This purpose-built workplace, designed to accommodate approximately 1,850 employees, will support drug discovery and development breakthroughs. HOK’s team is creating vibrant, flexible spaces that promote collaboration and scientific exchange. The open layout combines modular lab benches and offices, bringing teams together around shared facilities and equipment. Communal hubs provide space for impromptu gatherings and informal learning.

Sustainability is a focus, with the project targeting LEED Commercial Interior Platinum certification. HOK’s design integrates biophilic elements and access to outdoor terraces, enhancing employees’ connection to nature and overall wellness. The design also aligns with WELL Building Standard principles across areas including air, water, light, sound, and fitness.

HOK brought its pioneering “Designing for Equity” initiative to life by embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into every facet of this project’s design process. Engaging AstraZeneca’s internal DEI stakeholders in visioning sessions gave HOK’s design team insights that shaped the building’s office floors, lobby, cafeteria, and auditorium to be tailored to diverse needs.

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Construction of this strategic R&D center is scheduled for completion in 2026. HOK’s team is providing interior design, lab programming and planning, sustainable design, experience design, and lighting design services. BXP is the developer and Pickard Chilton is the base building architect.

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