The Lorry I. Lokey stem-cell research building reflects the administration’s goal of creating a modern medical-research environment. Flexibility, cost effectiveness, and collaboration were enhanced by the use of limestone-veneered architectural precast concrete and glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) wall panels to clad the building’s exterior.
The large atrium features precast concrete along its facade, fronted by a glazed curtain-wall system. The atrium promoted privacy for research labs while maximizing transparency and integration of indoor and outdoor community spaces. It also serves as a pedestrian thoroughfare, offering a highly trafficked face for the facility. Special attention was paid to minimizing panel joints to create continuity from exterior to interior faces.
The building was designed to exceed requirements for LEED silver certification. This included sun shades on east, west, and south facades, which were attached to the precast concrete panels. The precast concrete components also helped achieve certification through their energy-efficient thermal mass, local manufacture, control of construction waste, and recyclability.
This project showed the interesting way that precast concrete can relate with other materials. The designers used precast as the general structural material and repeated that over and over, and then juxtaposed that against metal panels. The proportioning, detailing, and overall articulation was universally appreciated by the jury.