Designed to attract and retain the most accomplished principal investigators and research teams from around the world, the Belfer Research Building – a high-performance, state-of-the-art, humanistic research machine – creates a new paradigm for the urban vertical laboratory.
The building is about collaboration. It was designed to be a community, brought together to share ideas, invent ideas, develop ideas and dream ideas – and of course, to create ideas with others – for humanity.
In conjunction with Weill Greenberg Center, Belfer establishes a new institutional identity for Weill Cornell and heralds a new era in biomedical research and bench-to-bedside clinical care.
Quality of life in the laboratory is critical to the organization of the building on its restricted urban site. In establishing an intimate relationship between offices and labs, transparency across the floor and sectional connections between floors, the design breaks down research silos and promotes academic cross-pollination.
Belfer’s design responds not only to its context but also to its users and to passersby. Its transparency sparks curiosity in pedestrians, with the ground and first-floor level spaces are visible from the street.
Both art piece and informational feature, Squint / Opera’s digital media wall enlivens the building at street level and projects the institution’s mission. The material quality of the lobby – French limestone walls, terrazzo floors and cherry wood accents – reinforces its inviting character.
The lab bench area is as open and collaborative as it is safe and efficient. Designed as a “kit of parts,” the benches and support spaces depend on a standard set of service connections to facilitate interchangeability. The repetitive module and floor plate sponsored the development of integrated vertical systems, making this design strategy particularly cost-effective.
New York, NY
Laboratories, Research Support, Classrooms, Offices, Conference Rooms, Two-story Atrium, Landscaped Garden, Lounge, Study Spaces, Cafeteria
Ennead Design Team
Elizabeth Arnaiz, John Barrett, Mathew Bissen, Barrett Brown, Ilya Chistiakov, Colin Davis, Margaret Gorman, Frank Guittard, Duncan Hazard, Katharine Huber, John Jordan, Zubair Kazi, Paul Keene, Stephen Kim, Whasook Lee, Tara Leibenhaut-Tyre, Apichat Leungchaikul, Christopher Lewis, James Macho, Lois Mate, Craig McIlhenny, Nathan McRae, Si-Yeon Min, Dona Orozova, Jarrett Pelletier, Charmian Place, Graeme Reed, Allison Reeves, Patricia Salas, Todd Schliemann, Adam Sheraden, Paul Stanbridge, Margaret Tyrpa, Marcela Villarroel-Trinidade, Ted Wagner, Ann Wright
Jacobs Consultancy, GPR Planners Collaborative
Photography / Videography
Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects, Squint/Opera
Award of Honor, Society of American Registered Architects New York Council
Engineering News-Record New York’s Best Projects, Merit Award for Higher Education
The Concrete Industry Board, Roger H. Corbetta Awards, Award of Merit