A world leader in biologics, our client imagined a new potent compound manufacturing facility that embraces employee wellbeing, emboldens researchers to look beyond the edge of what's possible, and fosters an atmosphere that promotes transformational science. Working on the third floor of an existing building, Flad's designers created a 26,000 square-foot environment that serves as a showcase space for visitors, an appealing workplace for employees, and a cGMP environment that meets all needs for safety and containment.
The medicines manufactured in the space are highly potent, requiring that employees spend most of their hours gowned in multilayered protective clothing. Within the confines of rigorous requirements, the team sought to answer the question of how to design a safe and secure environment that infuses each employee with color, nature, and multisensory experiences.
Merging art and architecture, the team fashioned a perforated light wall programmed to align with the body's natural circadian rhythms, which is set within rich, sustainable wood panels at the entry. Within the workspace, individuals can customize his or her experience at every hour for quiet reflection, deep focus, or creative team play. Spatial adjacencies promote cross-functional interactions and agile workflows proven to accelerate new ideas. A central conference room clad in sustainable wood and glass designed in dynamic, non-static patterns offers multifunctional work surfaces for brainstorming both inside and out. The hexagonal floor pattern transforms organically from black hues near the core to crisp ocean blues along the window wall.
In the cGMP area, specialized labs are pulled into the core of the building, allowing the main passage to become a shared hub along the perimeter. Here, the connection between science and nature culminates in a "water wall" comprising undulating workspaces situated along the exterior glass. The water wall is intentionally designed to be occupied in many different ways, from sitting to standing to reclining, suitable for performing solitary tasks as well as interaction.
Custom graphics inspired by chemicals transforming from one state to another radiate around the entrances to the restricted areas and continue within the main corridor, identifying where employees must be gowned in protective gear. Color and light, necessary to scientific research, animate shared spaces, with the labs' gowning entries featuring bold hues in subtle gradations that intensify upon approach to each entry. Visual cues pronounce the safety function of door swings, undulating in waves to correspond with elevations in the water wall.
Infused color, texture, and spatial relationships offer employees a respite from intensely focused lab settings, connecting each individual to one another and the world outside without leaving the restricted zone. The cumulative effect is a controlled environment providing unexpected sensory experiences – a workplace simultaneously just like other workplaces, and like no other.