Architects: Rafael Viñoly Architects with SmithGroupJJR
Location: San Francisco, California, United States of America
Architect In Charge: Rafael Viñoly
Area: 6,364 sqm
Photographs: Bruce Damonte
Electrical Engineer: Cupertino Electric, Inc
Landscape Architect : Carducci & Associates, Inc
Civil Engineer: Sandis Cahd Browning
Structural Engineer (Design): Nabih Youssef Associates Michael Gemmill
Structural Engineer (Of Record): Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc
The open floor plan of the laboratories face southward to a ribbon of windows opening up views to the eucalyptus trees of Mount Sutro and allowing ample daylight to enter. Shared support alcoves and core support rooms on the north wall are organized along linear equipment rooms that extend the length of the laboratories.
Continuous and open laboratories allow for flexibility in space allocation and assignment. Changes in the sizes of research groups can be easily accommodated in large, continuous, and open laboratories as opposed to ones that are divided in smaller finite units
Additionally, highly flexible laboratory casework systems with quick-disconnect utilities enable the rapid reconfiguration of the research program. The casework system can be easily demounted and rearranged to accommodate new research needs.
Laboratory safety features are duly observed with design features such as multiple exits opening on to Medical Center way, eyewash and shower stations located logically around circulation nodes, and a complete monitoring system.
Inside the building, entry nodes are located between laboratory segments and designed as a hub of interaction: a half-level stair connects two adjacent laboratories, and another extends up to the offices and conference rooms above. Break rooms, immediately adjacent to the entry, are located at the intersection of a circulation network, creating a set of split-level transitions between three tightly-interconnected levels with strong sense of physical and visual connectivity.
One of the hallmarks of RMB is the landscaped green roof terrace. This multi-level green terrace provides an outdoor amenity for building occupants and the broader UCSF Medical Center community. Each one of the four roof neighborhoods associates with, and is directly adjacent to, the RMB faculty offices. The quality and yield of space achieves program requirements, while creating new and enjoyable places for university researchers to congregate, thereby ensuring a more social, more collaborative, and effective set of research suites.
Access to the building occurs via a 9th floor pedestrian bridge, connected directly into the existing Health Science Center circulation and research core, at the nexus between the Medical Science Building, Health Science Building West, and Health Science Building East. The bridge also stretches to the new service elevator tower which is positioned to meet the loading dock below. Walking across the bridge is a deliberate and engaging event; pedestrians encounter long views of the community, and the nearer views of the pristine Eucalyptus forest on Mt. Sutro.
RMB’s primary longitudinal circulation occurs via a system of exterior ramps, stairs, and walkways along the north side of the building. The ramps follow the east-west slope of the site, providing easy access to four laboratory floor entrances and green roof terraces. Card readers at entry points, along with the bridge level security desk, ensures controlled access. Combined, this solution of inviting exterior spaces accessed by a channeled and controlled path, balances the invitation for collaboration with the need for security. It is seamless and transparent, creating a promenade with ever-changing breathtaking views. It offers occupants and the UCSF community places of respite and contemplation connected to both the city and nature in what used to be a forgotten place in the back of the Medical Center.