new england biological medical laboratory
The long curved approach drive reveals the site’s characteristic hillocks with the estate house to the left. The new biological laboratory complex first appears as a low glass wall, an abstraction of a garden wall. Set within the landscape, the new complex is the complementary opposite of the house’s neoclassical vocabulary. As a new beginning, it respects rather than mimics the architecture of the past, heightening the house’s presence in the landscape through a new and complementary form. The building follows the rolling topography. Where it meets the lawn – the house’s setting a cloud like winter garden softens the edge with a meandering, crystalline garden wall.
Upper and lower entrances lead into this environmentally rich indoor garden space. Here one enters the laboratories themselves at an elevation of 42.Along a horizontal and vertical circulation spine, moving ramps interconnect the lab floors.These rectilinear floors terrace up along the edge of the site-to the east cradled by the hillside; to the west defining the edge of the drive. Sloping “green roofs” parallel the surrounding landforms.
The laboratories’ “V” configuration maximizes each lab floor’s views to the outdoors. Within the “V” a Zen water garden enhances the experience of going from floor to floor along the moving glass enclosed ramp.
The ramp system interconnects all floors. Its open, easy movement fosters communication by providing opportunities for staff to meet and interact. The main spine connects the first level (elevation 42) to the second (elevation 56). A second moving ramp over the water garden below then switches back to the third floor (elevation 70).
Labs are set back from the exterior wall by perimeter corridors that gives colleagues convenient access to each other’s glass-partitioned offices. Offices are directly adjacent to the labs, with support space beyond. Interconnecting corridors provide convenient access and communication throughout.