Historic building reimagined as research science incubator

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, February 29, 2024

Historic building reimagined as research science incubator
The project has introduced an elevated atmosphere, providing scientists and staff with refreshed lab facilities and welcoming gathering areas while honoring the building’s historic character. Photo: Robert Umenhofer courtesy Svigals + Partners.

NEW HAVEN, CONN.- Architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals + Partners has announced the completion of the New Haven Innovation Labs, an incubator space for startup bioscience research organizations located inside the historic John B. Pierce Laboratory building in New Haven, Conn.

Renowned for inspiring, cutting-edge environments for scientific research, Svigals + Partners designed and renovated the labs and associated amenities. They worked with developer BioCT, a nonprofit organized to promote the Southern Connecticut’s continuing emergence as a bioscience and technology hub. The collaboration has established a new and potent incubator for the next generation of research start-ups.

Within the century-old, three-story building, Svigals + Partners has redesigned and modernized the facility, including 6,000 square feet of flexible research space and offices on the building’s third floor, plus updated shared amenities on the first floor. The project has introduced an elevated atmosphere, providing scientists and staff with refreshed lab facilities and welcoming gathering areas while honoring the building’s historic character.

“New groups in the early phases of exciting research can find an economical, high-performing solution at the New Haven Innovation Labs,” says Svigals + Partners managing partner, Jay Brotman, AIA. “These start-ups also enjoy working side-by-side with other innovators, leading to the possibility of informal collaboration and ideation, supported by shared conference rooms and breakout rooms.”

Svigals + Partners applied a contemporary aesthetic that compliments the historic building’s character, especially the original windows, wood trim and molding. Re-envisioning the first floor, the design team repurposed underutilized office space to expand and update the breakroom and conference rooms. Equipped with state-of-the-art linear LED lighting, the new 20-person conference room enjoys ample illumination. Luxury wood-look vinyl tile flooring contributes to a warm and welcoming environment in the breakroom and kitchenette.

Two floors up, the architects have transformed the existing layout, dividing what was previously a single large laboratory into several smaller research spaces. According to architect and associate Brian Stancavage, AIA, “About three quarters of the third floor’s 6,000 square feet is now organized into five research and science suites, including shared, semi-private and private labs.” He adds that the ceiling heights were raised in the laboratory areas, exposing the mechanical systems overhead and helping give the volume an airy feel and an industrial vibe. Svigals + Partners also updated the building’s infrastructure with robust rooftop and interior mechanical units to service all floors, including the third-level laboratories’ sinks and fume hoods.

The remaining portion of the floor plate now comprises private and shared offices that tenant firms use for administrative work, says Stancavage.

A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of the nine-month project, which enjoyed support in donations of funds and services from a range of benefactors. As recognized national experts in design for laboratory and scientific research, Svigals + Partners’ design of the New Haven Innovation Lab is the latest in a portfolio of exemplary work in this high-growth sector. Other recent and notable works include lab spaces for Yale School of Medicine, the Yale West Campus Integrated Science and Technology Center, University of Connecticut, and high-tech startup Quantum Circuits. The project is also the latest result of an ongoing collaboration with BioCT, aimed at further establishing New Haven as a center of research for life sciences.

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