Press release

Wellcome Trust Headquarters Opened

The new London headquarters of the Wellcome Trust biomedical research charity was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen yesterday (Thursday December 2nd).

The ten-storey, open plan, glass-roofed Gibbs Building, named after the Trust’s former chairman, is located at 215, Euston Road, and houses the charity’s staff who previously occupied two nearby buildings.

Her Majesty, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, was welcomed by Sir Dominic Cadbury, chairman of the Trust, Sir Roger Gibbs, Professor Martin Bobrow, Deputy Chairman and Dr Mark Walport, the Director. Councillor Harriet Garland, Mayor of Camden Council was also in attendance.

During the hour-long visit Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh were shown exhibitions outlining the 68-year history of the Trust and examples of the health-based research it funds around the world.

Her Majesty also viewed the Thomas Heatherwick sculpture, Bleigiessen, made of 150,000 coloured glass spheres suspended on one million metres of stainless steel wire, which rises through six storeys at the building’s west end.

The new 28,000 square- metre headquarters for the Wellcome Trust -one of the world’s biggest medical research charities with 500 staff and an annual spend of around £400m -was designed by Hopkins Architects. It has been styled as a glass-covered atrium with a 90 metre “street” running through the centre. Before it was completed staff were housed at 210, Euston Road and in the original headquarters, the Wellcome Building at 183, Euston Road, which will be transformed into an exhibition and conference centre by 2006.

The world famous Wellcome Library, which has more than 700,000 books, archives, journals, images and films, will return to the 183 building from its temporary location at 210, once the refurbishment has been completed.

In 1986 Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a plaque in the Wellcome Building to mark the 50th anniversary of the Trust.

Thanking the Queen, Sir Dominic told assembled guests yesterday (Thursday) : “The huge expansion of the research we fund and the creation of this building have been made possible by the growth in the Trust’s wealth under the leadership and skilful direction of my predecessor, Sir Roger Gibbs. It is entirely appropriate the building should be linked to his name.”