Research and Development Laboratory Building

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Confidential Agriscience Company

Indianapolis, Indiana

200,000 SF

The process of discovery is by definition dynamic and changeable. As such, it requires a dynamic and changeable space and one that supports both the inspired efforts of the lone researcher and the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team. This definition was instrumental in the design of the Research and Development Laboratory Building. The spaces inside the building are themselves tools for discovery, created to accommodate the evolving nature of research and enable scientists to bring ideas to life and to market. The facility is home to high-tech equipment and modular spaces that can be customized to specific projects and adapted for future needs. The end result is a facility that supports the entrepreneurial spirit that leads to groundbreaking and life-enhancing discoveries.

The Research and Development Laboratory Building expands space for the client’s research and development division and addresses their need for additional space. The facility is designed to accommodate new technologies that help them expand their research and development capacity. The expansion supports the organization’s mission to shape the future of agriculture and to conduct research that feeds the world.

The building is two stories and connects to an existing research and development building that supports 160 new employees in a state-of-the-art Biotech and BioProcessing lab environment. The lab and support spaces occupy approximately 110,000 of the nearly 200,000 square feet in the new building. Additionally, a new 14,000 square foot greenhouse expansion was added to the existing greenhouses on campus. The greenhouse features a sophisticated control system that heats and cools the space, provides shading, and delivers watering and fertilization. Plant growth lighting can be raised and lowered to allow a variety of plant research and growth.

In addition to the lab space, the design team created an open office design that promotes collaboration among employees. The design features wood veneer, stone, tile, and decorative lighting to move away from the traditional institutional design. The wood used in the interior of the building is from a reclaimed barn that pays homage to the organization’s agricultural heritage and past. The new addition is connected to the existing building by a landscaped courtyard.

The exterior of the new building complements the existing architectural vocabulary on the campus. The project team’s design grows the material palette while staying true to the “state-of-the-art” styling manifested in the client’s existing facilities and brand.

The laboratory spaces were designed with flexibility and adaptability to accommodate future changes in technology and research pursuits easily. This is specifically accomplished using a modular physical environment. Systematic and modular laboratory bays allow the building’s floor plan to change depending on the department or function.

The system also has an integrated window system that allows residual daylighting to filter further into the internal lab and building spaces. This helps facilitate user productivity in these spaces and enables collaboration spaces to be moved from the perimeter of the building closer to the laboratory spaces. This encourages users to collaborate with their peers.

The owner obtained LEED certification, further strengthening the client’s commitment to the environment and their role as an innovator in their market.


Architecture, Commissioning, Engineering, Planning, Sustainability


LEED Certified, 2014 AIA Indiana Design Awards: Merit Award, New Construction (Project cost greater than $1 million)