Lab Tours 2018

Post-Conference Lab Tours- Wednesday, April 25, 2018

As part of the 2018 Laboratory Design Conference agenda, tours of exemplary lab facilities including those to which attendees would not otherwise have access are an integral part of the overall Laboratory Design Conference experience. Attendees will get the chance to visit innovative laboratory facilities in the Philadelphia area on Wednesday, April 25. Breakfast and round-trip transportation from the conference hotel to these sites will be provided. Please note that a separate fee will apply for admission to the lab tours. Both morning and afternoon tours are being offered.

Sign up today, as space will be limited!

Novartis-Penn Center for Advanced Cellular Therapy 

The 30,000 sf Center for Advanced Cellular Therapies (CACT) combines Penn Medicine’s intellectual resources with Novartis’ leadership in the pharmaceutical industry to jointly find more effective treatments for cancer. The design concepts implemented in the center have doubled process efficiency, maximized daylighting and increased communication and collaboration between researchers. The CACT is poised to become a true facility of the future—an epicenter for the research and early clinical development of personalized cellular therapies for many forms of cancer.

Located on Penn Medicine’s campus in Philadelphia amidst both clinical and laboratory facilities, the CACT expands on Penn’s groundbreaking research using Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) technology, which enables a patient’s own immune cells to be reprogrammed outside of their body and re-infused to “hunt” for and potentially destroy tumors.

The design carefully considers how to create the best workplace environment possible for the 100 highly specialized employees. The strategic layout and organization of the laboratory environments ultimately reduces the time it takes to create the “hunter cells” for one patient by 50 percent. At the outset of this effort, it took an entire month to tackle this for each patient; now, it only takes two weeks.

Full height windows surround the laboratory and allow striking views of the surrounding city and, in effect, establish a very different environment from traditional manufacturing and interior laboratory design focused on compartmentalization. Additionally, the labs are open plan, which allow researchers from different teams to work together and not in silos. Designed with a centralized café space along with several other collaborative spaces, the CACT supports meaningful engagement and a dynamic work environment that fosters discovery.

Building opened: February 2016
Submitting architect: CannonDesign

Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Drexel University

In 2006, Drexel University unveiled a master plan that outlined a goal to reinvigorate its urban campus with buildings that achieved both architectural excellence and sustainable performance. The campus was re-planned to be landscaped to embrace the wider neighborhood. The Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building is the keynote building to be realized in this ambitious master plan.

Located at the corner of Chestnut and 33rd Street in Philadelphia, the Integrated Science Building provides a gateway landmark on Woodland Walk connecting the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel. It is a multi-disciplinary science facility organized around a five-story atrium, which is the central meeting place for faculty and students. Balconies and lounges at each level provide places for interaction. Connectivity is crucial in academic and research buildings. Boundaries between disciplines are dissolving and buildings need to facilitate connection.

The atrium features a four-story spiral staircase and an 80-foot living bio-wall with 1,500 tropical bromeliads. The green wall lends drama and beauty to the atrium but it is also plays an effective role in regulating air quality. This huge innovation connected to the mechanical system is a living biofilter, which achieves a vast improvement in air quality (80 percent) and also reduces the buildings’ energy consumption by 30 percent. It also won the Interior Green Wall Award of Excellence at the 2012 CitiesAlive Conference. The building received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, remarkable for a laboratory building, which typically has high energy requirements.

To enhance the learning environment, a high degree of internal transparency harvests natural light to the labs from expansive windows and the skylit atrium. The open plan of the teaching and research labs encourage connections.

The Integrated Sciences Building also served as a catalyst for challenging traditionally held notions of the planning process. Members of the academic, planning and management divisions of the administration were challenged by our design team to collaborate with one another to develop a common vision for the integration of sciences through teaching and research. The building itself stands as an elegant marriage of aesthetic, environmental, programmatic and economic issues.

Building opened: October 2011
Submitting architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects

The University of Pennsylvania Stephen A. Levin Neural and Behavioral Sciences Building

The University of Pennsylvania Stephen A. Levin Neural and Behavioral Sciences Building combines biology, psychology and associated programs into one building in order to promote a unified and interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching. Penn’s mission was to create a common facility— shared by the Department of Biology, Department of Psychology, the Biological Basis of Behavior Program, the Program in Life Sciences and Management and the Behavioral Economics Program—that would bring together faculty, staff and students studying the full range of life sciences.

The school envisioned an environment that could increase the level of dialogue and collaboration across these disciplines, from cell biologists to social psychologists. Carefully sited among an existing laboratory complex, the building connects fields of study to create a newly integrated Life Sciences precinct that fosters collaboration in a new academic quadrangle. The intention is to provide a welcoming new link between community and campus, transforming a dark and derelict perimeter into an open and inviting gateway.

Building opened: June 2016
Submitting architect: SmithGroupJJR

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