Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Seattle, Washington, USA

Client

Columbus Center

Architects

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership

Completion

1994

Base area

6,100 m2

Faced with building restrictions on the former central Seattle location and the undesirable option of moving to the suburbs, scientists of the Cancer Research Center voted for the long-term development of a gradually extendable research campus on a site of more than 4.5 ha at the edge of Seattle's port. At the time of its acquisition, the site at the foot of Capitol Hill - flanked by water to the northwest and the southbound highway, located between the University of Washington campus and Seattle's CBD - was a mix of modest residential buildings and dilapidated industrial premises.

The three departments of the Cancer Research Center were to be realised in four building phases with the option of further extensions. A clearly arranged,

Seattle Cbd Waterfront

Ground floor plan

Cancer Center Floor Plans

Ground floor plan

Typical floor plan: laboratories, offices, and the central dark zone are accessed with two corridors

from left to right

The new research centre is located at the foot of Capitol Hill in Seattle adjacent to the waterfront | View from the port to the Cancer Research Center | Windows in the laboratories and meeting rooms afford views of the port and the sea | Landscape architect Peter Walker, San Francisco, designed the strictly geometrical interior courtyard from left to right

The new research centre is located at the foot of Capitol Hill in Seattle adjacent to the waterfront | View from the port to the Cancer Research Center | Windows in the laboratories and meeting rooms afford views of the port and the sea | Landscape architect Peter Walker, San Francisco, designed the strictly geometrical interior courtyard dense and green campus was to be built. The original urban plan envisaged parallel volumes leading down from the hilltop to the waterside like steps of a giant stair. This in terms of urban planning plausible idea turned out to be too expensive. Consequently, the buildings were lined up along the existing roads to enable a partial use of the existing infrastructure.

The completed Basic Research Building for basic research (phase 1) comprises two simple rows of buildings. The urban layout of the premises, - which are located at the northern end of the site, is defined by the pocket-situation between the highway and the waterfront.

Due to the rainy climate a fully glazed steel bridge links both buildings on the first floor. It largely closes the courtyard off the sea, thus compromising the elementary relation to the water.

To allow utmost flexibility, an accessible service mezzanine level was allocated to each floor of the Basic Science Building. Thus, mechanical services of laboratories and other spaces can adapt to future changes at any time and any place. Generous central shafts supplement the mechanical engineering concept. This way, expenditures of time and funds for future redevelopment or refurbishment are to be cut down to less than 50 percent in comparison with conventional laboratory buildings.

The laboratories are embedded into an ordering system of offices, secondary spaces, storage rooms, and service pools. Even though any spot can be serviced, floor plans were strictly zoned. Laboratories are located along the façades to provide a maximum of daylight; spaces for equipment, measuring, and special use are located in the central zone, and offices are situated at the gable ends. From there, the building affords views of the masts of the schooners and yachts, and the sea, or the skyline of the nearby city.

from left to right

Along the jutting-out reinforced concrete wall runs the main circulation artery connecting all parts of the building | The western part of the building follows the curved ring road and closes the gap towards the Meyer Building | Curved horizontal lines and a white colouring characterise the design | The galleries in the atrium are to serve as informal meeting points supporting communication

Belfer Building for Molecular Genetics and Cancer Research, Weizmann Campus

Tel Aviv, Israel

Client

Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Architects

Moshe Zur Architects Urbanists &

Town Planners

Completion

2003

Total floor area

5,000 m2

Laboratory area

2,000 m2

The laboratory building in Rehovot on the venerable campus of the Weizmann Institute supplements and completes the adjacent complex for transgenic research. Currently, the most important focal points of research are molecular genetics and cancer research, which are successfully developed with many international partners. The new building is situated at the main entrance to the campus and is linked to the existing Arnold Meyer Building via a glazed two-storey bridge.

The urban design is dominated by two formal elements: curved horizontal lines and a white colouring reminiscent of Erich Mendelsohn, designer of the Weizmann building on the campus. When seen from

Erich Mounce West Cancer Center

the west, the sweep of the building follows the curve of the ring road around the campus, defines the street space at this point and at the same time effortlessly closes the gap in front of the older Meyer Building. A shared courtyard is created that significantly structures the building ensemble. In order to preserve the visual continuity and the spatial relation to the palm garden surrounding the Meyer Building, the southern end of the new building was raised on stilts allowing the garden to continue underneath the building. The building takes advantage of the descending terrain by allocating extensive service areas for building infrastructure and a secluded delivery yard with parking in the northern part of the building.

The main architectural idea guiding the design is the curved institute building penetrating a slab serving as circulation "backbone". All functional areas of the layout were designed as integrated parts of this sweep.

As a reaction to the functional requirements of the programme the building is split into two main wings linked by a five-storey central entrance hall. It is the "communication hub" of the complex guiding the circulation between the new building and the Meyer building vertically and horizontally. From the atrium one reaches the shared central areas open to the public that are located adjacent to the lobby, e.g. the auditorium, the institute's library as well as the offices on the ground floor, administrative spaces, and the palm garden. Galleries inside the atrium are designed to provide space for formal and informal meetings. Because of the panoramic views offered through the fully glazed atrium front, the galleries are also popular spots for breaks and recreation. The exposed concrete wall that juts out on both sides way beyond the building volume provides an interior projection area on the southern end of the hall. The full-height wall, which the transparent main staircase leans onto, cuts through the building. It is lit by the top strip of glass of the glazed staircase and in conjunction with steel bridges and galleries of the individual storeys forms the element linking all areas.

Elevation

The building consists of a basement, ground floor, three upper floors, and a partially recessed service floor on top, which connects to the shafts. While one wing accommodates the studies for theoretical research, staff offices, and various service and supplementary spaces, the other wing mainly provides laboratories for the different teams, rooms for genetic tissue, and the offices of the heads of team. A typical floor plan contains six laboratory units and eight service rooms. The rooms of the heads of team alternate with genetic tissue stores opposite the laboratories. Connecting doors between the laboratories support interaction between the scientists and allow the formation of research teams of various sizes. They provide for immediate contact and short distances be tween individual scientists as well as various small research teams and temporarily co-operating teams.

The laboratories are all based on the same modular grid and fitted with largely standardised and identical equipment. According to the work mode of the research teams, every laboratory comprises six work desks, which are well lit by the strip windows facing the ring road. The laboratories provide maximum state-of-the-art flexibility in terms of technical equip ment. Every laboratory comprises an air extract connected to the central exhaust system for work with chemicals and solvents and also complies with the GLP guidelines for laboratories regarding air exchange, control of the extract coils, lighting levels, protection gear, and the dimensions of work and circulation areas. Every floor has been designed as its own fire compartment.

The main building materials of the conventional reinforced concrete skeleton are anodised aluminium cladding (which is mainly used on the front and rear façades) and smooth exposed concrete for the large transverse wall slab, the auditorium, and individual building elements like columns and balustrades. The butt joints of the concrete formwork and the joints of the ventilated aluminium cladding panels are based on exactly the same grid and executed with high precision. The southern and northern gable ends of the building are clad with an aluminium post-and-beam

Concept of spatial relations

from left to right

The colour scheme and architectural language of the exterior also dominates the interior | Transparent five-storey central entrance hall connecting the research activities with campus life | The entrance hall serves as a hinge between the two building parts containing laboratories and offices respectively structure with obscured glass infillings. The atrium received a curtain wall with low-energy glazing.

Both the interior and the sculptural exterior have been formed to support the architectural idea of the building down to the last detail. An abundance of design elements - the curved main façades, the transverse wall, the glazed façade of the entrance hall, the circular auditorium - create a holistic architectural composition, whose individual components form a well-proportioned whole, a special place designed in the spirit of research that provides a great sense of identity and a stimulating working atmosphere.

Cross section through entrance area with "student path"

from left to right

Entrance area with penetrating "student path" | The perforated exterior aluminium skin with upward-folding solar blinds creates a rational and clean façade | The double-height foyer space with the integrated footpath is conducive to communication | Nine-storey voids provide daylight from left to right

Entrance area with penetrating "student path" | The perforated exterior aluminium skin with upward-folding solar blinds creates a rational and clean façade | The double-height foyer space with the integrated footpath is conducive to communication | Nine-storey voids provide daylight

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