The architecture of research facilities

The last issue of Metropolis features different articles about the "The Architecture of Research" that addresses the extent to which architecture can inspire science practice. There is a lot to draw there but have a look at the one called "The DNA of Science Labs". It postulates that scientific research labs now receive more and more attention form architects

Both Rubin and McGhee, who has spent the last 20 years studying lab design and refining his theory of space planning, constantly refer to the most successful research centers from the past century (...) tracing relationships between the physical structures and their enormous scientific and technological achievements (...) connectedness emerged as one of the project’s overriding themes (...) “The best thing you can do is to a have single corridor, because that’s the one place where you always run into people.” (...) Another major theme for Janelia Farm’s space planning was flexibility, which emerged partly as a negative observation about the flaws of existing research facilities. The rapidly changing nature of scientific equipment and the need to adapt quickly to different research projects, as well as to adjust to individual preferences, meant that the labs should be capable of being transformed without the wasted time and expense of a total retrofit.

The article about labs in skyscrapers is a good read too.

Glass-walled labs provide a visual connection between the benches and offices, as well as between colleagues as they pass through the long wavy corridor. They also let in natural light and views of the world outside. Picture by Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Why do I blog this? this connects my interest in how the spatial environment shape social/cognitive processes, and conversely how can it be possible to design environments to improve collaborative behavior.