Argonne National Laboratory
Materials Design Laboratory
Adapting to evolving research processes
Maximizing collaboration among energy and materials scientists, the new Materials Design Laboratory (MDL) is the final segment of Argonne National Laboratory's (ANL's) Energy Quad. As the nation's first national laboratory, ANL conducts leading-edge scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline, and the MDL enables researchers to investigate structures at the scale of a single electron and larger.
Housing approximately 100 researchers and support staff dedicated to creating new solutions to address the world's most critical energy problems, the MDL's design allows scientists to research new materials, understand how they work, and put them to use – from designing tailored superconductors to creating better materials for wind turbines. Researchers are also exploring the interfaces of where molecules come together in new materials and testing their properties under extreme conditions.
The 130,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art laboratory is designed to provide maximum practical flexibility to adapt to evolving research processes. Utilizing modular laboratory designs to enable adaptation to support new research techniques, the MDL includes a flexible power distribution and communication infrastructure to adapt to changing technical requirements in the future. The success of this research community hinges on a transparent environment that enables collaboration, promotes communication, and is flexible to accommodate the ever-changing requirements of the scientific workplace.
As the gateway to the campus, the MDL is the first building visitors encounter as they enter ANL's site. The design of the MDL responds to and improves the established links and the pedestrian and vehicular circulation patterns, not only with the other programmatic elements within the energy quad, but also with those divisions and amenities that are adjacent to the Quad.
The MDL has received LEED-NC Gold certification under the USGBC's LEED v3, reflecting the lab's commitment to energy solutions for the future.
Project TypeScience & Technology