The new Multidisciplinary Research Building (MRB), adjacent to the existing Structural Biology Center at the University of Kansas, provides a multidisciplinary “think tank” for researchers to share ideas and promote the sciences. Constructed on a fast-track schedule to maximize federal subsidies, the MRB serves as an anchor point at the edge of campus, acting as a key COST PER SQ FT$377.00FEATURED IN2007 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized in fulfilling the vision of the West Campus master plan.
The design was driven by the needs of a variety of research projects and disciplines, including chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, molecular bioscience, mechanical and electrical engineering, computer science and geology. The project also includes a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory site for researchers working with hazardous organisms and pathogens, an environmentally stable isotope lab, a biochemistry lab for geological research, and cleanroom facilities for nanofabrication research.
The MRB “opens its arms and reaches” toward the future campus promenade and distant views. At night, the building glows and reveals the dynamic character of the public spaces arranged along the perimeter and the grand staircase.
In traditional research facilities, labs line the hallways, with faculty offices inside or next to them. Research labs are strung along the utility core, and spaces dedicated to the exchange of ideas are concentrated around the cascading stairs facing the campus. The configuration of these spaces is designed to support teams of researchers with laboratories, work rooms and offices, meeting and conference rooms, equipment and research support spaces, and cleanrooms. Because multiple disciplines must function within the facility, consideration has been given to utility and mechanical distribution, including waste management, and security and life-safety systems.