HOK was recently selected as lead architect for the Ri.MED Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) near Palermo, Sicily in Southern Italy. The $269 million world-class research facility at 334,000-square-feet will be a global hub for biomedical research and development. The ultimate goal is to prevent or cure diseases while improving the quality of life and life expectancy of patients. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Plans for the facility were unveiled in Palermo, Sicily, in an event attended by Italian political leaders including Prime Minister Mario Monti and Rosario Crocetta, president of the Region of Sicily. Leaders from UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), the University of Pittsburgh, the Ri.MED Foundation and HOK also attended the event. Managed by UPMC, the facility’s focus on translational science will move research quickly from the lab to the marketplace.
The BRBC is expected to open in 2016 and, when fully operational, employ more than 600 scientists and other staff. Plans for future phases on the campus include a new hospital and medical school. The HOK-led joint venture team includes Buro Happold in London and Milan, Progetto CMR in Milan, De Cola Associati in Palermo, Italy and Eupro in Ragusa, Italy.
The flexible laboratory space is divided into four wings on three floors. HOK’s modular design allows each laboratory neighborhood to be easily subdivided. Floor-to-ceiling glass between laboratory and documentation areas maximizes visibility between teams and provides ample natural light. A mix of formal and informal workspaces encourages collaboration. At the heart of the laboratory space is a central conference center with an auditorium. A central commons building provides additional conference facilities, a small faculty club café and other amenities. A patient trial clinic and incubator labs are located nearby for easy patient access.
To align with Ri.MED’s sustainability goals, the team designed the BRBC campus as one of the world’s most environmentally responsive and resource-efficient research facilities. The design aims to achieve a minimum of LEED® Gold certification from the Green Building Council Italia.