Celgene Seattle Scientific Workplace and Research Center
Helping great minds eradicate serious diseases
Celgene Seattle believes with absolute conviction that they can genetically reprogram the cells within our immune system to eradicate cancer and other serious diseases. Selected to design their new Seattle headquarters and research center, Flad's team felt Celgene's same sense of urgency in achieving their objective to change medicine for good.
This project was born during a time of rapid expansion as Celgene grew from a scientific pioneer to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. The design team developed an interchangeable wet and dry research model that can accommodate large volumes of new people and evolving research demands through clinical trials, FDA approval, and commercialization. All floors were planned without corridors, increasing floor efficiency by eighty percent.
The powerful science behind Celgene's Car T Cell Therapy supercharged Flad's overall concept, which we dubbed The Body, the Virus, the Cure. The "Body" provides a serene, open workplace that intuitively guides workers through interwoven programs across each floor. The "Virus" is inspired by the process of using a disabled, modified HIV virus that targets and destroys cancer cells. Flad’s design of disruption zones along the central spine of each floor mimics this vehicle and its directive. The "Cure" is embodied by conferencing and social landing zones that empower individual potential through shared ideas, transparency, and intersecting social tribes.
The team designed the public floor as a welcome center where people can connect, learn, and be inspired. The entire floor can flex to accommodate a variety of audiences and host large public educational events while offering sweeping views of Puget Sound, Lake Union, and the Olympic Mountains. Through this outreach, Celgene is able to capitalize on the campus's visibility within the city framework and share the immediate impact their work has on patients, the life science community, and global health.
The new headquarters and research center was planned to reflect the Pacific Northwest region, home to the largest number of waterfalls in North America — particularly the inclusion of a cascading stair that is arguably the building's most critical design feature. Each floor flows into a uniquely configured landing pool that draws people into unprompted social gatherings. Small eddies along the spine provide spaces for rapid work sessions and moments of creative ideation.