A modern counterpoint to the red brick and ivy-covered walls of Harvard University, the Bauer Center for Genomics Research, designed by Cambridge-based Ellenzweig Associates is the final piece in the University's Cabot Science quadrangle, just north of Harvard Yard. The new building connects three existing laboratory facilities, and houses an interdisciplinary group of genomics researchers. Most of the building, almost 30,000 square feet, is actually under Cabot Courtyard, but significant effort was made to locate offices, tea rooms and other communal spaces on the perimeter of the building to allow occupants daylight access.

The courtyard is composed of an asymmetric pattern of walkways, greenery and an outdoor café, which continues the building's goal to encourage a sense of community and provide social gathering spaces for the researchers. Post-top lanterns with 100W cut-off ceramic metal halide lamps illuminate the space and the walkways.

In an effort to redefine the traditional stark atmosphere of lab buildings, the color palette of the Bauer Center is light, and where possible, different materials are introduced. The lobby entrance, illuminated by low-voltage downlights and wallwashers that are dimmed to control light levels and extend lamp life, is denoted by a wooden wall that turns up to become the ceiling plane. The space also serves as a gallery where artwork is illuminated by linear fluorescent wallwashers.

LAM Partners was involved with the project from the beginning. The building is in use 24/7, and the lighting scheme responds with an integrated approach. The labs, located at the core of the building, are designed as if they were display cases to show off the research fellows and the state-of-the-art equipment. Because much of the equipment is on carts, LAM designed for a flexible layout, and used pendant fluorescent fixtures for both the traditional lab bench arrangements and for the mobile robotics equipment. Pendant fluorescent direct/indirect luminaires with 35-percent up and 65-percent down distribution from two T8 lamps provide high light levels on the lab bench areas. Perforated metal panel ceiling tiles were selected for their ability to reflect light and to comply with the 5-foot lab bench and pendant light modules. Square glass-trim downlights with an energy-efficient compact fluorescent light the corridors.

Write-up areas are located on the perimeter of the labs. Continuous aluminum extruded T8 uplight fixtures are integrated into an interior window wall. Dual switching of the lamp rows allows for flexible light levels. A T5HO uplight, hidden in the spine of the desk casework, provides additional uplighting and glare-free conditions for computer screens. Fluorescent undercounter task lights provide higher light levels for reading.

Harvard University wanted this twenty-first-century lab facility to showcase the new robotics technology being used here, while creating a friendly and inviting environment that would foster scientific investigations and ingenuity. The subtle, yet elegant and efficient, lighting system serves these researchers well. A|L


Project Harvard University Bauer Center for Genomics Research

Lighting design LAM Partners, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Architecture Ellenzweig Associates, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Photographer Edward Jacoby

Project size 62,000 square feet

Watts per square foot 1.8

Installation costs $28 million

Manufacturers Alkco, Artemide, Belfer, Columbia, Elliptipar, Engineered Lighting Products, Kurt Versen, Litecontrol, Lithonia, Louis Poulsen, Luceplan, Lutron, Peerless, Translite, Zumtobel Staff

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specification information.