Since 1998, Rowell Brokaw Architects has taken on re-thinking and re-design of existing spaces including technical laboratory and facility upgrades for a variety of clients. These projects tend to deal with changing programming needs and facility requirements for expansion. Two recent technical lab remodels include the Nolen Prehoda Lab and the Tubliz Lab at the University of Oregon.
The Tubliz Lab in Huestis Hall presented a unique challenge: transform a disconnected handful of unused and under-used rooms on the first floor of Huestis Hall into a new space- and energy-efficient lab and staff workstations, as well a new faculty office. RBA worked closely with clients Professor Nathan Tublitz and lab manager Eli Goodwin, as well as contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis, to implement a design which provided the users with functional research space and plentiful storage in a compact plan.
A new faculty office was created by combining two smaller rooms into one larger space. Translucent relites and side lights, combined with clear transom glazing above the office door, allow for ample borrowed daylight from the adjacent lobby, while providing needed privacy.
The Nolen Prehoda Integrated Biochemistry Lab project evolved from a previous molecular biology lab, designed by RBA for researcher Brad Nolen at a different location within the science complex at the University of Oregon. To improve the efficiency of the project - both program and budget - the idea was generated to look for ways to combine the Nolen Lab with another research lab on campus. Ken Prehoda's biochemistry work on yeast was identified as an appropriate fit for an integrative lab. The design seamlessly integrates the two independent research groups with optimized resource allocation that is shared by both entities.
The overlap of these two labs captures the quality of the integrative science experience. Dedicated spaces for interaction paired with shared circulation that facilitates those chance encounters feeds interaction into the multidisciplinary research environment. The resulting lab is something greater than the sum of its parts. And the theory is that the same will apply to the research that the lab generated.