Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Rafael Viñoly burrows into the earth to create the Janelia Farm Research campus for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia
Rafael Viñoly Architects
The more successful buildings by Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, display distinct athletic gestures—from the smoothly arcing roof of the 1994 Lehman College Physical Education Facility in New York to the exuberant, glass-barrel-vaulted roof of the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia. With the newly completed Janelia Farm Research Campus outside Leesberg, Virginia, however, Viñoly has exchanged such feats of bravura for a subtler move—that of merging a 947-foot-long, 280-foot deep, curvilinear building with the earth. By deftly inserting a three-tiered, terraced structure into the gentle slope of a hill to serve as a research center for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Uruguayan-born, New York–based architect has created a dramatically deferential work of architecture. Although the planting needs about five more years before hard edges of the building begin to be softened by the landscape, the concept is already compelling.
The gently serpentine building is composed of three floors embedded in and terraced down a slope to the tributary. Two skylighted staircases divide it into thirds and help give a sense of orientation to the occupants. The lowest level, defined on the exterior by curved fieldstone walls, opens into a lobby leading to the auditorium, large seminar room, as well as dining room, pub, and other communal facilities. Throughout, square, glassed-in atriums bring additional daylight inside. On the second and third floors, labs overlook glazed corridors, which in turn reveal views of roof gardens and the distant landscape. Along these two tiers of roof terraces, the architects situated offices clustered in square glass pods, where computer research and meetings could occur near the actual laboratories themselves. The poured-in-place concrete and steel hybrid structure for the “landscape building,” as it is called, gives way to structural glass extending along the serpentine corridors that separate the labs from the offices and grassy terraces. Glass beams, columns, and walls of low-E clear glass allow the scientists unimpeded glimpses of pastoral landscape for dazzling, 88-foot-long spans.
Rafael Vinoly FAIA
Jay Bargmann AIA
Sami M. BaSuhail AIA, Charles Clements AIA, and Bob Steel RIBA
Charles Blomburg AIA
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire protection:
Acoustical, Vibration, Telecom/Data, Security, Audio Visual
Food Service Consultant:
Green Roof Consultant:
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Cast-in-place post-tensioned reinforced concrete in the parking garage.
Structural glass, glass curtainwall and stainless steel framed enclosure system
Stainless Steel/Glass Curtainwall:
Stretched Fabric ceilings by Novawall
Bosch heavy duty 2 ½” extruded aluminum ceiling grid with custom cast and machined intersections.
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Custom wood millwork and casework by Rafael Viñoly Architects, manufactured by Jefferson Millwork & Design Inc., Sterling, VA.
Paints and stains:
Floor and wall tile:
Daltile Rittenhouse Square 3”x6” on Kitchen and Restroom walls.
12”x12” Black porcelain tile by Innovative Marble on restroom floors
Sheet goods by Mannington.
Lobby area, downstairs hotel rooms, apartments: Omnia
Upstairs hotel rooms, some pod soft seating and throughout administrative areas: Montis
Pod soft seating areas and administrative area: Arflex
Group leader offices and administrative offices: Brayton
Hotel & Apartments: Interiors International, Omnia & Montis
Dining Rooms chairs: David Edward & Frag
Interior ambient lighting:
Sloane solar powered infrared lavatory faucets
Custom Designed Laboratory service bollard system and modular Laboratory casework designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, developed and manufactured by Lab Crafters, Ronkonkoma, NY.