TechnologyMBARI Research and Engineering Facility

MBARI : Research and Engineering FacilityMBARI : Research and Engineering FacilityMBARI : Research and Engineering FacilityMBARI : Research and Engineering FacilityMBARI : Research and Engineering Facility


An ocean-front setting for this marine science and applied engineering facility supports the ambitious nature of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's (MBARI) research programs. The facility is designed to encourage interaction and interdependency, not only within the building but also with operations in the rest of MBARI's campus. Two separate wings are joined by shared facilities to facilitate socialization and communication. Sheltered from coastal winds, an Entry Court extends a restored dune-landscape to the public approach and serves as a social center for the campus. The building character recognizes the robust demands of the work environment and the utilitarian tradition of Moss Landing. The modular, open plan is organized in parallel, open-truss bays, joined in the manner of early coastal buildings. MBARI embraced this authenticity of expression as a visual statement of its identity and mission - state-of-the-art science in a working seaport. Common areas of the facility are located in parts of the building with exceptional ocean views in order to stimulate informal staff interaction. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is a nonprofit research institution where scientists and engineers work together to explore and study the sea. MBARI's laboratories and docks are located in Moss Landing, California, at the head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon. This lets MBARI researchers study the deep ocean without having to travel far from shore. In a typical year, MBARI researchers see over a dozen deep-sea animals that are new to science. MBARI marine biologists have shown that jellies are some of the most numerous and important animals in the deep sea. MBARI engineers have designed and built robots that can swim through the water, crawl along the seafloor, and run DNA tests in the middle of the ocean. MBARI's remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Ventana, has made more dives than any other scientific ROV in the world. MBARI's remotely operated vehicle, Tiburon, can dive almost two and a half miles below the ocean surface. MBARI researchers can study Monterey Bay without ever leaving their offices, thanks to MBARI's four monitoring buoys, which continuously send data back to shore via satellite.

Location as inspiration

The pounding waves. The salt spray. The crashing surf. Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute don't just study the ocean. They experience it every day.

The design for the new, two-story building perched on the rugged California coast uses cutting-edge engineering technology to support biological and physical sciences research in deep water environments. To lead exploration in these rapidly expanding fields, the facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art microbiology and molecular biology labs, flexible engineering laboratories, and high tech collaborative spaces.

The design blends in with the working seaport of Moss Landing, its cannery buildings, and the coast itself. Accented with natural wood, its exterior skin will be able to withstand coastal winter storms, wind-driven rain, high winds, and heavy fog. This ensures that every day scientists can investigate the mysteries of the ocean further, surrounded by stunning views of their subject.

Location: Moss Landing, California