This four story research laboratory houses 160 labs that accommodate 50 faculty and 600 research staff. The 245,000 sf building is sited at the west end of a landscaped quadrangle on the University’s medical campus, west of downtown Chicago. To take advantage of natural light, the state-of-the-art laboratories are located on the exterior sun-shaded walls with support spaces located inboard.

Planned primarily for molecular biology research, the building also contains centralized facilities that can accommodate other interdisciplinary programs such as molecular diagnosis and protein engineering. Research support and general support spaces include facilities for DNA sequencing and synthesizing, molecular cloning, crystallography, magnetic resonance, offices, conferencing rooms, and an auditorium. Special services include reverse osmosis deionized water and emergency power generation.

The steel structure is clad in a highly articulated glass and precast concrete skin with exposed mechanical and venting stacks. Subtle references to the molecular sciences include a double helix full height stair with a sculptural quality that invokes the DNA structure. The building has been successful in helping the University to attract and retain researchers and grant monies.

Completed: 1996
Architect and Interior Designer: Lohan Associates

UIC Molecular Biology Lab, Chicago, Illinois