This urban Life Sciences Center anchors a prominent corner on the Rutgers Newark, N.J., campus and creates a hub to integrate the chemistry, biology and neuroscience programs into one facility. The building acts as both a physical and metaphorical bridge, or link, among the programs, providing an “incubator” for interdisciplinary interaction. Additional goals for COST PER SQ FT$289.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio project:
•Encourage interdisciplinary research.
•Attract new programs and allow for expansion of existing life-sciences programs.
•Provide flexibility to accommodate future programmatic changes.
•Act as a “gateway” project for the campus and provide a welcoming presence to the community.
•Act as a catalyst in recruiting top researchers to the university.
The campus of Rutgers-Newark has experienced dramatic growth, paralleling the growth of Newark itself. Today, the campus comprises 25 buildings spread over 35 acres. Continuing development of joint programs with surrounding universities creates, in essence, a campus whose boundaries extend beyond the physical constraints of Rutgers-Newark and underscore the need for the campus to turn outward and physically embrace the surrounding community.
This research facility must address the diverse needs of numerous user groups and be flexible in its design. To maximize flexibility, two lab planning concepts were incorporated: a standard lab module and an open-plan concept. The standard lab module is 10 feet, 6 inches wide by about 30 feet long and may consist of up to six modules. It is used as a building block to configure labs.
Each module contains two wet bench stations of 8 to 10 feet long, two tech desk stations of about 4 feet long, and an equipment alcove of 10 feet by 10 feet.
The open-plan concept facilitates the reassignment and reconfiguration of lab space, with little or no modifications and down time. The open lab-planning concept offers the additional advantage of encouraging interaction among researchers. By removing most physical barriers among researchers, the open lab plan greatly increases the frequency of “incidental” interaction among researchers and information sharing.