Rafael Viñoly design for the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building opens
In 2003, the Helen Diller Family gifted the University of California, San Francisco the sum of $35million to contribute towards the creation of a new Cancer Research Building. "UCSF cancer researchers are on the verge of discoveries that will improve lives around the world," said Diller. "What could be more rewarding than helping to speed their progress toward these breakthroughs?"
The Diller family are entrepreneurs come philanthropists. Their business, Prometheus Real Estate Group has been developing commercial and residential properties in the Bay Area of California since 1980 and enabled them to set up the Diller Family Foundation in 1997, scrupulously selecting the most worthy projects for their donations. And for such a worthy cause as this Cancer Research Building, the worthy talents of Rafael Viñoly were employed.
A ribbon cutting session yesterday celebrated the opening of the building which was drawn to encourage interaction and collaboration among the three different cancer-related research programs of kidney, prostate and brain. Viñoly's design provides approximately 162,000 gross sq ft of which numerous communal break out areas and lounges, rooftop terraces and conference rooms spur integration and discussion. Research laboratories, faculty offices, a seminar room, atrium, and a lobby make up the remainder of the space.
The building's functional order develops around a sky-lit, multi-story atrium located between the lab and office blocks and integrated into all aspects of the scientists daily life. This open interior space becomes the focus of the facility, providing for building circulation and public functions.
Laboratories are kept open, light with continuous exterior glazing, and flexible using modular units, accommodating future replanning. External sunshades are used for daylight control and thermal comfort, and a light shelf and vaulted acoustic tile ceiling reflect sunlight into the depth of the room.
"This is the manifestation of a vision our outstanding cancer specialists have been working toward for more than a decade," said UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop. "Thanks to the generous support of Helen Diller, her family and many others, UCSF now has an expanded home for its integrated research and clinical cancer program, with the ability to contribute in a significant manner to advancing cancer care throughout the world."
In the Research Building, the talents of Rafael Viñoly , the generosity of the Diller Family, and the research efforts of the scientists at the University of California merge to produce a gifted facility, in all understandings of the word.