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Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

with Cannon Design and Toshiko Mori Architect

Located across from Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research’s existing Cambridge, MA, campus, the Novartis Research Complex consist of two new buildings – 181 Massachusetts Avenue and 22 Windsor Street – that integrate signature architecture with environmental performance to exceed Novartis’ stringent global sustainability standards.

The campus, 181 Massachusetts Avenue designed by Maya Lin Studio and 22 Windsor Street designed by Toshiko Mori Architect, includes laboratory, office, and retail space.

The lighting design objectives for the new campus were to combine natural and artificial lighting for attractive, energy efficient, cost effective, and LEED compliant results that would support a collaborative working environment. The lighting needed to both distinguish and connect two new and distinct buildings by different architects.

181 Massachusetts Avenue is a glowing backdrop for the subtly lighted courtyard of winding paths over a rolling landscape. The forward facility, 22 Windsor Street, is wrapped in a perforated and rear-illuminated stone screen wall, providing a dramatic presence along the main thoroughfare. Initial design concepts were developed by Atelier Ten to respond to the different architectural requirements for public, gathering, and research spaces. These designs were unified through a common luminaire and control vocabulary for all buildings to ensure balanced illuminance levels, color temperatures, and technologies for optimal energy performance and maintainability. The lighting was carefully designed to provide visual stimulation and comfort, circadian health, and ergonomic convenience. Color temperatures, illuminance intensities, and glare protection were conscientiously balanced for visual comfort.

Atelier Ten advised the design team on various high-performance strategies to reach the project’s ambitious sustainability goals. The complex incorporates the latest technologies in high-performance laboratory design ranging from low-flow fume hoods to water cooling equipment to exemplify Novartis’s ‘Lab of the Future’ vision. Using a high-performance façade with triple pane glazing and external shading, 181 Massachusetts Avenue optimizes thermal and visual comfort for lab spaces, also creating exciting social spaces throughout the buildings. The building systems are highly optimized with a stormwater system that collects, treats, and reuses 1.73 million gallons of water per year from roof areas for the cooling towers. To reduce the energy costs, the building includes multiple level of heat recovery as well as a large cogeneration energy facility to reuse greenhouse gas emission. This strategy has reduced the energy cost by 45%.