QC Testing & Administration Facility
An atmosphere of cooperation
Prior to designing Novartis' Holly Springs location, where the company would have the capability to produce cell-based seasonal flu vaccine, pre-pandemic vaccine, and 150 million doses of vaccine within six months of the declaration of an influenza pandemic, Flad’s team was given a clear directive. "The campus should become, both for employees and visitors," said the Novartis CEO, "a place that offers a setting for intensive communication and work that is not only extremely functional and highly modern, but also aesthetically pleasing."
The team therefore arranged the layout, circulation systems, and physical characteristics of the facility to encourage interaction and collaboration. A consolidated facility was developed with connected wings for Quality Control and Quality Assurance, as well as an interior connection to the adjacent manufacturing plant. These separate areas of the building are bound together by a central commons area and a shared "front door" that establishes the corporate image for the campus. As a result, all staff enter and exit the facility along the same path, reinforcing the message that they are all members of a single enterprise.
A circular stair is positioned at the atrium-like intersection of the two wings, providing a shared vertical path to the different levels. The glass-wrapped stair is positioned on a terrazzo plinth that also serves as the podium for all-hands' staff meetings for up to 300 people. Views of glass-enclosed conference rooms, dining areas, the exterior dining terrace, and circulation arteries support the importance of a cohesive purpose through a sense of community. The entire office environment is open, featuring an organic layout of workspaces that promotes visibility and access to people, information, ideas, and decisions. Office areas include conference rooms that line the main circulation path, providing accessibility and taking full advantage of daylight and views to the exterior.
The use of transparency in office areas, lab zones, conference rooms, and circulation areas reinforces the idea of teamwork, the openness of problem solving, and the expectation of transparency in decision-making — all critical aspects of the Novartis organizational culture. A canted ceiling plane — sloping to 14 feet high at the glass curtainwall — extends the space visually and allows daylight harvesting deep into the office zone.