Page D3.1 . 09 August 2000                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
  • A Master Architect of the Pacific Northwest
  • Big Ideas Behind Not So Big Houses
  • New Approaches to Laboratory Design

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    New Approaches to Laboratory Design

    by Diane M. Fiske

    The dark, smelly laboratories where scientists worked in isolation behind closed doors will soon be relegated to horror movies as science centers build increasingly elaborate facilities to compete for top researchers and grant money.

    An important design factor realized in 21st century labs is their open, inviting feel with work stations lit by natural light beaming through large windows. Another component is the absence of permanent walls, recognizing that scientific work is done in teams.

    Finally gone, happily, are the astringent odors of antiseptic chemicals, thanks to powerful new air recycling systems.

    Penn Sets an Example

    One architect implementing such changes is Steven Izenour, a principal in the internationally known Philadelphia firm of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA). Izenour is also an adjunct member of the architecture faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.

    VSBA has designed many buildings on the Penn campus and several in the health center including the Chemical Research Building in 1990 and the Vagelos Laboratories in 1997. Izenour said the new style of lab design was predicted for universities about 15 years ago. Today the Philadelphia area is home to many good examples of building for scientists.

    Izenour says: "It is important to be flexible in the science world. Grants come and go and the whole staff of a floor can change. With new people coming in with different requests and needs, the work stations must change and expand or contract."

    Collaboration is another mandate, Izenour notes. Designs for lab buildings tend to be more open now so modern scientists can compare notes and work in teams. An important innovation is placing heavy lab equipment in a building's interior zone, leaving windows for the labs and offices where people work.



    ArchWeek Photo

    The facade of the new BRB2, designed by Perkins & Will, described as the "right mixture of vertical and horizontal."
    Photo: Glen Conley, Francis Cauffman Foley Hoffmann Architects, Ltd.

    ArchWeek Photo

    Modern labs feature daylight, views, quality materials, and areas for collaboration.
    Photo: Don Pearse


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Advertise       Privacy       Comments
    GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   SCRAPBOOK   |   COMMUNITY   |   BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   ARTIFICE   |   SEARCH © 2000 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved