Rafael Viñoly Architects Completes UCSF Cancer Research Building
The 163,865-square-foot facility features two interlocking L-shaped wings connected by a five-story atrium.
Nicholas Tamarin -- Interior Design, 6/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
Rafael Viñoly Architects furthers its reputation as one of the busiest firms in the business it puts finishing touches on the University of California San Francisco's new Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building.
Set to open June 2, RVA's design is an open, collaborative research model unique to UCSF that aims to fast-track progress toward cancer cures, treatments, and therapies. The center will house researchers who will decipher cancer's basic biological mechanisms, along with research programs for UCSF's Brain Tumor Research Center, urologic oncology and population sciences departments.
Featuring materials that reinforce the visual vocabulary of the school's Mission Bay campus, the 163,865-square-foot facility includes two interlocking L-shaped wings, joined by a five-story atrium. The first wing contains research labs, while the second accommodates offices for principal investigators and research fellows.
The ground-level lobby connects Third Street, a main traffic artery and light-rail corridor, to an interior courtyard, while also boasting a 70-seat seminar room to be shared by the center's three departments. The single-story lobby also opens to the five-story atrium, surrounded by balconies and featuring several skylights, open staircases, and pedestrian bridges designed to foster a sense of connectivity.
Open laboratories on the second through fourth floors contain modular bench systems that adjoin adjustable-height work surfaces and shelves, all designed for easy reconfiguring by researchers. The laboratory wing's travertine walls stand in stark contrast to the office wing's metal and glass cladding, which simultaneously reflect a difference in function while conveying the transparency and openness necessary for new discoveries.
Photography by Michael O'Callahan, courtesy of UCSF Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building.