Not every academic research center is known for its social vibe or aesthetic appeal, but Stanford's James H. Clark Center gets scientists to look up from their microscopes and appreciate the view.
The three-story, 146,000-square-foot research center houses Stanford Bio-X, which comprises biology, medicine, chemistry, physics and engineering and takes an interdisciplinary approach to creating new knowledge of biological systems for the benefit of human health.
As Stanford Report notes, the Clark Center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, was "created as a social experiment in collaboration." Facets of the architecture, such as an open courtyard at the center of the complex, facilitate social gatherings. The round space has also welcomed events, concerts, and a site-specific dance piece (watch at 2:20-4:15 here).
Bio-X director Carla Shatz, PhD, told Robin Wander, "Not only are the space and the aesthetics gorgeous, but the labs are state of the art and the ability to flow from one lab to the next is liberating after spending years in research buildings with long hallways."
From Stanford Report:
"The architecture of the Clark Center provided the catalyst for developing a master plan and an architectural 'kit of parts' that has established a strong and consistent identity for the School of Medicine precinct," said David Lenox, director of campus planning. "The floating red roof lid, the limestone cladding and the proportion of the fenestration of the Clark Center inspired the design of the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge as well as the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building."
Photo by Stanford Live