The future of personalised medicine is even closer with the new research building at Vall d’Hebron, which will connect research and society to improve people's lives.
In mid-January 2020, the Generalitat made public the granting of a loan in the amount of €17.3 million to the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) for the construction of the new research building at Vall d’Hebron. This amount of money, together with the VHIR's own funds, ERDF funds and contributions from other private donors, made it possible to reach the €31.5 million that the construction of the new building would cost and the additional €3.3 million to provide the latest equipment and technology. Over the next four years, €2 million of the current transfer by the Generalitat will be allocated to the second building by resolution of the VHIR Board of Trustees.
What will the new building look like?
BAAS Arquitectura and Espinet/Ubach have designed a unique building that will become an architectural landmark in Barcelona, with its own identity and representing the values of innovation and excellence.
Its sustainable Mediterranean-style architecture allows it to merge with its environment. The proposed building has a single façade, located between the current building of the Autonomous University of Barcelona on the Vall d’Hebron Campus and the Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospital building, on the site of the former hospital laundry. The building roof garden will become an extension of the surrounding park, and will be an area for relaxation, with a green roof to reduce energy consumption.
The works started in July 2021 and are scheduled to finish in november 2023.
The building will have a total area of 16,792 m2, distributed as follows:
- Floor -1: Scientific and technical support (5.435 m2). In this area will be located the cyclotron that will occupy an area of 810m2 and the center of advanced therapies, to which 207m2 have been allocated.
- Floor 0: Reception, Administration, Assembly Hall (3.576 m2)
- Floor 1 and 2: Investigation (5.569 m2).
- Innovation Hub /pending allocation: (2.212 m2)
Part of the portfolio of scientific and technological services of the VHIR will be transferred to the new research building, including the Experimental Surgery Unit (ESU), the Clinical Research Support Unit (USIC), the High Technology Unit (UAT), the Biobank (BBC), the Statistics and Bioinformatics Unit (UEB) and the Academic Research Organisation (ARO).
It will also house the latest technology in the field of advanced therapies, particularly gene therapy, and it is expected to have a new cyclotron which will allow the development of new diagnosis tools and treatments based on radioisotopes, an area that is experiencing a boom in growth worldwide and in which the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus is already a benchmark.
The new facilities will allow researchers to continue their cutting edge and disruptive research, to continue innovating and guarantee the improvement in people's quality of life. Just moving a variety of locations to one large space will permit the sharing of knowledge and experiences, thus promoting synergies between different groups, increasing transversality and cohesiveness, and enabling us to give the best possible service to society.
With the new headquarters, we will be able to retain our talent while at the same time attracting new talent, whether national or international, and promote business collaboration via an innovation hub which will facilitate the creation of public-private alliances, disruptive projects, living labs, etc. The hope is that researchers will be able to transfer their knowledge through the creation of businesses and attracting new investors and biotech or pharmaceutical companies that want to expand their activity in cooperation with our research groups.
Furthermore, the new multifunctional building with its multi-use areas will promote dissemination, teaching and citizen participation. There will be spaces to explain human stories of scientific progress.
BAAS Arquitectura and Espinet / Ubach, winners of the international architectural tender
In 2017, a call for international architectural tenders to design the new Vall d’Hebron research centre was issued.
The design presented by the Catalan architects of BAAS Arquitectura and Espinet / Ubach was selected from five bids by a prestigious international jury.