Each year, the Laboratory Design Conference offers exclusive tours of some of the most groundbreaking labs in the United States. This year’s tours offer unique looks into three laboratories built to optimize innovations in cancer research, multi-disciplinary sciences and life sciences.
Attendees will get the chance to visit these 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 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 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
The Integrated Science Building is a multi-disciplinary science facility organized around a five-story atrium, which is the central meeting place for faculty and students. 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. 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 Building (Neural and Behavioral Sciences)
The genesis for the Stephen A. Levin Building, a hub for neural and behavioral sciences, is the acknowledgement that the study of complex behaviors is a fundamental focus of life sciences in the 21st century. Seeking to create greater integration of the study of genes, the brain and behavior, the University of Pennsylvania desired to bring together their psychology, biology and behavioral sciences programs into a common facility. The building’s program includes wet and dry teaching and research labs, a 180-seat auditorium, faculty, post doc, and grad student offices, collaboration and lounge spaces and other program support spaces.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychology is the oldest continuously functioning psychology department in North America. Consistently ranked among the top university psychology departments in the world, much of its research is conducted in two key areas: brain, cognitive and decision science; and clinical, positive and social psychology. Penn’s Department of Biology is impressively interdisciplinary. Furthering the school’s focus on interdisciplinary learning, the Departments of Biology and Psychology jointly operate the Biological Basis of Behavior Program (BBB). In this interdisciplinary major, students explore biological, psychological, computational and clinical approaches to understanding the nervous system as the basis of behavior, as well as perception, memory, motivation, and emotion. Penn’s Department of Biology combines internationally-recognized research programs with a commitment to the very best in undergraduate and graduate education.
Building opened: June 2016
Submitting architect: SmithGroupJJR