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UK National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), London - May 2017

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This was a fun explore. Presumably there must have been a threat from animal rights protestors when it was active here so the site is well secured. High fences equipped with beam sensors and shake sensors stretch the entire perimeter, with remote controlled infra red cameras pointed at all the weak points. The site is also partly still active as the relocation process hasn't quite reached completion yet. The main building (The Francis Crick Institute) was our main target although we passed many outbuildings along the way; houses, stables, a sub-station and many more. It took us a while to figure out a way into the main building but once inside it was a pretty chilled affair. Unfortunately the labs had already been cleared out so there were no pickled animals in jars lying around, which was a shame, coz you know, that's the kinda grim stuff we were hoping for! However, all was not lost as the building itself had some nice art deco features which sort of made up for it. Visited with @extreme_ironing, and again with @AndyK! and @Miss.Anthrope.




The National Institute for Medical Research (commonly abbreviated to NIMR), is a medical research institute based in Mill Hill, on the outskirts of London, England. It is principally funded by the Medical Research Council(MRC), and is its largest establishment and one of only three designated as an 'Institute'.


The Medical Research Council, founded in 1913, was immediately charged with establishing a central research institute in London. Later that year, premises at Hampstead were acquired and the National Institute for Medical Research was founded. In the 1930s, the decision was made to move the Institute to new premises. An imposing copper-roofed building at Mill Hill was designed by Maxwell Ayrton, the architect of the original Wembley Stadium, and construction began in 1937. Occupation was delayed when war broke out in 1939 and the building was given to the Women's Royal Naval Service. The building was returned to the MRC in autumn 1949 and the official opening ceremony took place on 5 May 1950, with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth present. 


In 1962, Nobel Prize winner Sir Peter Medawar became director and, consistent with his research interests, established NIMR as a major centre for immunological research. Following an illness, Medawar retired as director in 1971 to be replaced by Sir Arnold Burgen. Burgan had an interest in nuclear magnetic resonance techniques and formed the MRC Biomedical NMR Centre at the Institute in 1980. Sir Dai Rees became director in 1982 to be replaced by Sir John Skehel in 1987. Since then NIMR has continued to excel scientifically, reporting perhaps most famously the discovery of the sex determining gene SRY, in 1991.


In 2003, as part of their Forward Investment Strategy, the MRC announced plans to consider moving NIMR from its current location to a university/medical school site, to enhance its ability "to translate its biomedical research into practical health outcomes." University College London was selected as a preferred partner institution, and in 2016 the NIMR began its migration to the new Francis Crick Institute, constructed next to St Pancras railway station in central London.


The rooms and other locations in the building were used in the film Batman Begins, for the Arkham Asylum scenes.



1. The Francis Crick Institute, Mill Hill Laboratory.



2. Nice art deco entrance hall





















9. Map of the building layout



10. Some funny scribblings on the wall



11. A few photos from the various laboratories which made up about 90% of the building.   















16. & 17.

34187114243_cc81854d7d.jpg 34865781741_a15bdb6a48.jpg











21. A nice safe vault in the basement






23. The Directors






25. Looking down from the roof. The building with a green roof was a nice looking hall but unfortunately locked.






27. Games Room (locked)



28. Refectory









31. Christmas decorations still hang from the ceiling 




32. Art deco library, a nice surprise located on the 5th and 6th floors. 












That's all folks, thanks for looking :) 

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Dayummm. Favourite shot is the whiteboard with chat about tezzers :D 


Seriously though, that library is sweet and looks like there could be more from here in the future hopefully :)  

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One of the nicest medical type spots I've seen in ages lurking about on public forums. Really, truly very nice and superbly shot. Gives a great idea as to the scale and geography of the place.

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6 hours ago, SlimJim said:

One of the nicest medical type spots I've seen in ages lurking about on public forums. Really, truly very nice and superbly shot. Gives a great idea as to the scale and geography of the place.


Cheers Jim bob :thumb 

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An interesting building & history. I especially like the deatail shot #20.

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