The environments required to support 21st century agricultural research are very different from agriscience labs of the past and the big-pharma labs of the late 20th century. Transparency, accessibility, and visibility together form the new template for agriscience, all in support of maximizing interaction and connection among the science teams, administrative groups, and visiting partners.
The RTP Innovation Center is therefore qualitatively unlike any other ag biotech corporate environment. Designed in direct response to Syngenta's research mission, the facility is simple, lean, and highly adaptable. The design removes obstructions and employs an open, large, and flexible laboratory floor – a departure from Syngenta's previous inflexible and non-mobile research environments. A new approach to incorporating lab support within this expansive floorplate optimizes the workflow for researchers and enables frequent reconfiguration of research teams. Major support functions are placed at the shoulders of the open floorplate while immediate needs at the bench are now serviced by shared support pods embedded within the laboratory, providing convenient access to frequently needed equipment.
Besides expanding their research capabilities, Syngenta's goal was to amplify their corporate culture through collocated research, non-research, and growing functions on a singular campus in a single facility. To help achieve this, a 'ribbon' of community space runs through the center of the complex, providing a full range of amenities that support the four-story laboratory wing and three-story administrative wing.