Even at six stories and 270,000 sf, much of the interior of the Allen Institute for Brain Science is readily visible.
In an effort to facilitate collaboration, Perkins+Will designed the Seattle research facility to have labs set around an open atrium so that researchers can peek over and see what colleagues are working on. Labs have perforated shading and woven metal in the glass exterior.
The design orients labs like flower petals around a large light-filled central atrium; the effect is like the inside of a bee hive where researchers can see each other and what they are doing, making the space more collaborative, flexible, and transparent.
The facility, which opened this week, contains wet and dry labs, a data center, an auditorium, and work spaces. It also has 9,000 sf of ground floor retail space and four levels of subterranean parking.
The building seeks LEED Gold certification. It uses a rainwater cistern that captures water for landscaping. All building materials were locally sourced, and it utilizes sustainable wood products.