Kling Stubbins & Fentress collaborate on new research facility
Research 2 is a 507,000-GSF, 12-storey building that defines, in concert with an academic office structure to the South, the Western edge of a four-acre landscaped courtyard. Linked by second floor bridges that form a public promenade and sheltered by arcades at grade, the four buildings that delimit this quadrangle are organized to facilitate collaboration and reinforce the orchestrated dialogue between architecture and landscape.
The building is planned around a prototypical laboratory environment accompanied by adjacent flexible support space. These elements constitute the western two-thirds of each floor, with office areas occupying a parallel zone to the East.
A primary public circulation path joins the offices and areas of congregation. Distinct from this, and encapsulated within the secure laboratory barrier, a linear equipment corridor provides both access to the labs as well as space for supporting equipment, thereby lessening noise within the research suites.
The architectural character is greatly informed by both the immediate context and regional considerations. Brick, sympathetic to existing structures and the colour of the earth, encases the laboratory areas; and the framed window punctuations provide expansive views of the Rockies while sheltering the occupants from the Western sun. The offices exist behind a highly articulated, clear and silk-screened high performance curtain wall. Between these two treatments are metal panels that define areas of technical support and building systems and culminate expressively in the mechanical penthouse.
While endeavouring to be a testament to the virtues of modern architecture and an expression of the technology within, the design of Research 2 is, above all else, about the creation of an environment contributory to scientific discovery.