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NEB-New England BioLABS project

Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA

200,000 SF 

Passive Design Features

Project 2001

“We keep true to our core values of putting science first and taking the environment into account in everything we do.”

 - James Ellard, CEO, New England Biolabs - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News



New England Biolabs (NEB) produces and supplies solution-oriented products for life science research, publishes its own research in the field, and supports scientific exploration and education.


The existing laboratory on NEB’s corporate campus was operating on a nineteenth century estate within a collection of Victorian mansions. The company was seeking a new molecular biology facility that would also contain a winter garden, recreational space, and a 400-seat auditorium. APT conceived an intervention that would subtly blend with the area landscape, endeavoring to preserve its natural beauty.

The design concept is a series of splaying fingers that house research spaces, set into the topographical slope of the hillside. Natural light, vital to detailed scientific investigations, reaches into all the working spaces of the labs through the courtyards, which also serve as areas of respite for researchers.

Approaching the building, one sees only the continuous lawn of the facility’s grounds. From the adjacent lake, the structure appears as a diaphanous crystalline formation emerging from the slope.

The idea of a building as an excavation is executed in a language of geology and topology rather than through traditional architecture in this project.

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