The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) houses the alliance of five world-class research institutions: the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Scripps Research, and the University of California, San Diego. Designed as a “collaboratory,” SCRM creates a synergistic environment for researchers seeking clinical cures, celebrating the concept of uniting people to promote social and intellectual interaction.
The client wanted a facility that would inspire researchers to rethink their daily routine and encourage them to connect with one another. Embracing this idea, Fentress Architects re-imagined the typical laboratory module placement to activate cross-pollination and remove barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists. Offices pods for principal investigators were cantilevered from the main building envelop connected by an exterior walkway. This circulatory design shift fundamentally altered the way researchers move through the building, enhancing opportunities for impromptu encounters. This shift also created spaces for shared two-story breakrooms, which connect all levels of the building and stimulate interaction among researchers. Stairways were strategically designed as areas of “creative collision” where people and ideas intersect.
The material palette is vibrant and textured, and the thoughtful blend of concrete and warm wood details enhances the serene yet refreshing environment. The integration of colorful details adds warmth to the building’s concrete mass. Transparent walls promote awareness of the surrounding natural environment while the careful placement of operable windows, displacement ventilation and chilled beams creates a welcoming atmosphere and optimizes energy efficiency within the LEED Gold building. Highly flexible conference rooms, a café, and a one-story lobby with a private roof terrace provide additional layers of interactive space. A 150-seat auditorium serves as a venue for scientists to educate the community, connect with the public, and provide a backdrop for discussion.