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    Laboratory Layouts

    by Daniel D. Watch, AIA

    When considering adjacencies in research laboratory facilities, the relationship of the labs, offices, and corridor will have a significant impact on the image and operations of the building. A key question should be: do the end users want a view from their labs to the exterior, or will the labs be located on the interior, with wall space used for casework and equipment?

    Some researchers do not want or cannot have natural light in their research spaces. Special instruments and equipment, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) apparatus, electron microscopes, and lasers, cannot function properly in natural light. Daylight is not desired in vivarium facilities or in some support spaces, so these are located in the interior of the building.

    There are three basic ways to organize adjacencies with corridors: single-, two-, and three-corridor arrangements. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and there are a number of options to explore with each. Here, we'll discuss single- and two-corridor schemes.

    Single Corridors

    Most single corridors are located in the middle of the building, with little or no daylight coming into the space. Whenever possible, interior walls should be glazed or lounges created along the outside wall to allow natural light into the corridor. It is usually preferable to have a view open to the exterior from the corridor — either at the end or somewhere along it — where an open, shared space is created. A view helps to orient people as they walk along a corridor.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    This article is excerpted from Building Type Basics for Research Laboratories by Daniel D. Watch, with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

     

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    ArchWeek Image

    The curved ceiling and spacious corridors of Rochester's Biomedical Research Building allow for comfortable circulation.
    Photo: Perkins & Will

    ArchWeek Image

    Natural light enters the large open lab spaces of the biomedical Research Building II, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
    Photo: Perkins & Will

     

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