Leaders in innovative lab design
6 Million sfof research space designed by the same team
For more than 20 years, a humanistic mission and collaborative approach has helped Fentress Architects to naturally excel in the creation of architecture for science and technology, research, and healthcare institutions.
Whether working with a university, government agency, developer, private company, or public entity, we approach programming, planning, and design the same: with the goal to align people, process, and purpose.
— H. Michael Smith AIA, LEED AP
Every year thousands of researchers, technicians, and staff perform breakthrough science in facilities designed by Fentress Architects. The firm’s portfolio of laboratory projects has garnered over 30 honors and awards including:
- Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum, 2016
- Green Square Complex, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Headquarters, Green Design, City of Raleigh Environmental Awards, 2012
- University of Colorado Anchutz Medical Campus, Research 2, Honorable Mention for Design/Delivery Process Innovation using BIM, American Institute of Architects National Chapter, 2009
- David E. Skaggs Research Center, Citation, General Services Administration National Design Awards, 2000
Designing for laboratories means designing for the unknown. As science evolves—often at a break-neck pace—so, too do the demands it places on the environments in which it is housed. Demands can range from technological to cognitive, from physical to psychological. It is for these reasons and more that laboratory architecture is at its best when it is customized for present needs, yet adaptable to future goals, and all the while fosters the human spirit with connection to the natural environment and one another.
Fentress created two keystone projects for the CU Anschutz campus, which is “driven by the multidisciplinary approach of researchers and clinicians across the spectrum of science and medicine, from innovative cancer clinical trials to examining the benefits of equine therapy for children with autism.” The laboratories housed in Research 1 North and South were designed as prototypical spaces capable of accommodating almost any research program. Adjacent support space can be easily tailored to the needs of individual researchers and disciplines. Consistent with the Research 1, the laboratory and support space of Research 2 is equally adaptable to the evolving needs of research programs, protocols, and funding sources. Together, these two buildings create a conference center that serves the entire campus. Research 2 houses a divisible, 4,000 sf multifunction room that connects directly via an enclosed walkway to two auditoriums and pre-function space in Research 1. They also feature an array of amenities and support spaces including coffee shops, two-story corner break rooms, numerous daylit meeting rooms, and an outdoor amphitheater and courtyard ideal for casual gatherings and formal campus events.
Research Complex 1 allows for the timely integration of clinical and basic science research necessary to encourage a more effective flow of new discoveries for the benefit of the patient and the community at large. Due largely to the flexibly designed Research Complex 1, the campus is in now an enviable position for broad transitional initiatives.
— Jerry Scezney, Chief Planning Officer, University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Tenants of the David Skaggs Federal Building include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory, the National Geophysical Data Center, the Space Environment Center, and the National Weather Service Forecast Office. These entities utilize over 650 individual daylit offices and 98 laboratories spread across four floors, and a green roof that houses four Dobson Domes used for monitoring and research of the atmosphere. In addition to multiple interstitial stairwells, which connect teams across floors and offer majestic views to the Flatiron Mountain backdrop, the building features artwork that further humanizes the space including a satellite model; Sea of Clouds; Intrusion; and Breaking Waves.
The state-of-the-art building systems are quiet, efficient, and effectively meet the demands of the lab environment. The lab areas are highly organized, yet flexible spaces designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the research scientists. The office spaces are equally well organized and flexible. The public spaces are contemplative and enhance the collaborative environment necessary to the success of the NOAA research mission.
— Klause Liedtke, retired NOAA Project Manager
Innovate and Collaborate
Science-related facilities must be more than the sum of their parts. The masterplan, programming efforts, architecture, interiors, lab planning and design, and more must work in concert to elevate the institution’s mission, attract an exceptional team of brilliant minds, and foster scientific discovery while also helping achieve economic viability.
Fentress Architects designed the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM), dubbed the “collaboratory,” which brings researchers from participating organizations together in a new, world-class facility that is centrally located among the five member institutions. SCRM’s physical layout enhances scientists’ ability to share intellectual capital so, stem cell research may progress in a faster, smarter, and more effective manner. Likewise, the synergistic environment is helping nurture the next generation of scientific leaders.
Right now we are working on a paper between my lab and a lab that is adjacent to me, this paper sprung up from casual conversation and that would not have happened at our previous location or at another location. This is sort of interaction is already happening and we have only been here for a year. The design of the building facilitates that kind of interaction; this sort of interaction has just started and it’s only going to get better.
– Dr. Lawerence Goldstein, PhD, UCSD School of Medicine Director and UCSD Stem Cell Program Scientific Director, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
In downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, science got a bit more awesome with the opening of Green Square Complex, an experiential environment that enables members of the public to interact with scientists actively conducting ongoing research into the environmental issues affecting everyday life. The experiential environment is housed within the four-story, 80,000-square-foot Nature Research Center that serves as an extension of the Museum of Natural Sciences and features live presentations, interactive exhibits, and hands-on laboratories. Green Square Complex also includes a 170,000-square-foot office building for approximately 615 employees of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources; a 60,000-square-foot State Employees Credit Union financial services center; and a 700-space parking deck. In addition to being good for the mind, as a LEED Gold-certified project, Green Square Complex is also good for the environment. The project:
- features a 10,000-square-foot green roof;
- maximizes daylighting by having far fewer interior walls and more windows than the typical office building;
- eliminates stormwater runoff, North Carolina’s number one cause of water pollution; and
- provides upgraded perimeter glass stairs that encourage inter-floor communication as well as minimize the need for elevator use.
Thanks again for designing such a spectacular building! Our visitors are amazed by the Nature Research Center and it is already an icon for North Carolina.
— Betsy Bennett, Museum Director for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn more about our laboratory capabilities, contact:
H. Michael Smith AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Science and Technology Practice Leader