AccuraGen is a completely new medical research / business institution that could provide personalized cancer diagnostics by DNA accurate medicine. Unlike the normal hospital or research institution, AccuraGen is trying to seek a business path that could link cutting edge medical research to ordinary clinical treatment. Thus, either from research or clinical service, the most urgent challenge for AccuraGen is to build up a connection from high-end DNA accurate diagnostics to the public.
The traditional design concept for medical institution, such as to create a comfortable environment or to build up a good relationship between doctors and patients, becomes the basics in this project. For us, the most challenge is to help ordinary people understand the abstract concept of DNA cancer diagnostics and willing to accept and pay for it.
This project contains four stories, 1150 m2, including exterior facade renovation and interior design. The main program consists of medical reception area on the ground floor and research laboratory area from the first floor to the third floor. After the reasonable program distribution, we focused on the understanding of space and design elements from two different perspectives – scientists and the public, so that we can assist AccuraGen to explore a business path to link modern technology and the public from space design aspect.
EXTERIOR FACADE The original architectural façade was under a fake European style which was prevailed in 80s -90s in China. Apparently, it doesn’t match the modern scientific aesthetic trend. Due to many limitations from urban planning regulation, we are not allowed to change to much the original façade. In order to indicate AccuraGen’s high-tech medicine image, through controlling the rhythm of vertical stripes, we put the DNA sequence diagram to the façade, and at the same time weaken the sense of massiveness of the structure.
This renovation project is based on a circular façade with a rigid frame structure system. The first floor is the key in the project. The design demanded us to fit as much program as possible into the circular space, which normally considered as the inefficient form in architecture. Thus we proposed a ‘Onion Peeling’ space strategy to match the original circular façade. Programs organize layer over layer from inside to outside, demonstrating a series of circular experimental space.
Exhibition Tunnel Exhibition Tunnel, which is the core space to introduce what is DNA accurate medicine to the public, is in the right center of the entire project. Under this circumstance, we did not consider it as space design only, but with graphic design, device design, visual design together as an entire package. We translated the biological knowledge to a series of simple graphic diagram and displayed it in an interesting moving lighting effect to highlight the most important message in sequence. In this way, the customer could easily understand the principle of DNA accurate medicine in a very short time. As customer walk along with the exhibition tunnel, the presenter could explain the high-tech medicine knowledge slide by slide in a very simple and direct way to the customer, through controlling the special lighting effect.
The decoration patterns, which normally use to fill the blank of the wall passively, became the quite important design element with deep meanings in this project. Some of the design details not only decorate the space, but also balance the two different readings between AccuraGen’s scientists and ordinary customers.
Double Helix Symbol DNA double helix is the easiest symbol that could be recognized by the ordinary people. In the project, we emphasized and applied this symbol in different forms, like double helix curtains, hanging lamps, wall lamps, helix curved staircase, etc..
DNA sequence diagram To doctors or scientists, DNA sequence diagram is one of the main tool to determine whether one person is health or not; while to our ordinary people, DNA sequence diagram is just an abstract pattern without any mean. In the project, we attempted to amend the diagrams to good looking patterns and keep them readable at the same time. Then we translate the those patterns to exterior façade, indoor decoration walls, abstract paintings on the table, etc..
ACGT Gene Code From ordinary people (including architects) point of view, AGTC decoration wall is an interesting but simple message that could tell us we are in a high-tech environment, while from scientists point of view, it will be read as the gene differences of individual human beings. After communications with scientists, we created a lot of design elements like AGTC wall in the project, ensuring the public aesthetic standards, and at the same time being consistent with scientific logic. These abstract decorative patterns on one hand bear the scientific seriousness behind, while on the other hand, soften the superior image of the cutting edge science, reducing the psychical distance between ordinary people and AccuraGen medicine. It also shows the ambition that AccuraGen is trying to delivery DNA accurate diagnostics to the public.
CONCLUSION For architects, propose a good looking design is not the main purpose in this project. The key of this project is to help the client to address the most urgent issues in current age from space design prospective. We believe architects’ task is not only propose the professional advices or schemes, but also dig deeply the potential of design, helping the client to succeed from business exploration.