Corporate Scientific Workplace
“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.”
― David Brower
With roots in the Pacific Northwest, this prominent biotech company looked to the Bay Area to expand its business. Reflecting the company mission, an overarching reference to discovery and innovation in cancer-related therapies is central to the design. The forests and rivers of the Pacific Northwest reflect both the life-giving qualities of nature and the company’s origins.
Program and Purpose
Using open and private offices, collaboration space, conference rooms, lounge areas, and amenities, the design accommodates different work styles to enhance employee productivity to advance the development of cancer treatment therapies. The variety of spaces sponsors both interactive, collaborative activities and contemplative, individual tasks.
A Commitment to Health and Wellness
The design recognizes company commitment to the environment as well as the health and well-being of employees. Access to natural daylight, the use of natural and low-VOC materials, and biophilia references connect staff to a quality, nature-inspired indoor environment. Furniture supports new collaborative methods and healthy ergonomics. This quality was achieved with inherent economy of means, and most building systems could be repurposed or adapted to meet current standards.
A River Runs Through It
The ever-changing flow and character of a river – from contemplative eddies to vibrant, energetic rapids – support connectivity and community and give expression to the design. A central conference room is an “island” in this riverine expression. People meet here to share ideas and solutions to the essential, life-saving therapies. Anchoring the plan, this object is articulated by the features of a hydro-electric dam – channeling and releasing energy to support life.
To connect staff and visitors to the company’s roots, graphics celebrate scientific research while honoring the lushness and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The central conference room layers an abstract experience of the deep forest with microscopic organic forms. Variable wood slats combine with applied films to integrate a graphic representation of healthy cells and mountainous horizons. The undulating wood ceiling combines with the organic floor pattern, reinforcing a riverine concept of movement and blurred boundaries.
Reinforcing the Mission
As an organization committed to transforming lives, the design directly reflects the core mission and cultural values. The response reinforces a strategic need to expand operations and organizational capacity in an environment that fosters teamwork, innovation, and exploration.