New York Medical College after renovation. A small-scope renovation can have a large impact on researcher
morale and productivity, helping to establish a group culture. Image: © Robert Benson Photography
a focus on collaborative effort. At the same
time, the space had to help keep researchers
focused on their work, creating a challenge
for the architects to strike a balance between
a familiar and stimulating atmosphere and a
serene, productive one. Further complicating
the solution, the institute consists of between
nine and 12 PIs, each with up to 10 research-
ers—a total staff of about 80 researchers, each
with a specific role.
The design solution used sleek glass partitions to create subdivisions for each
investigatory team. The use of glass separations both
establishes an ongoing connection among
teams and provides effective acoustic and
psychological separation needed for focus. The
glass also allows natural daylight to enter deep
within the large floorplates.
To nurture collaboration and idea-sharing
among members of the various teams
within the institute, the designers incorporated
not only breakout spaces and lounges, but
also “write-up walls” with display boards
researchers can use to record ideation sessions.
Write-up wall notes can then be excerpted and
transferred for use later in formal meetings,
conferences, events and other forums, making
the breakout spaces, and time spent there,
The design also incorporated a significant
amount of integrated artwork—permanently
built into the architectural elements—for the
establishment of an identity, or a group culture.
LaboratoryDesign|MAY|JUN 2014 35
continued on page 36
PI’s recruitment provided the energy needed
to implement this unusual plan.
The lab design approach focused on just two
top-level strategies for achieving a recognizable brand.
The director desired a workplace culture with
Environmentally friendly solutions for
the laboratory market…worldwide
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