Weill Cornell Medicine, Belfer Research Building

0705 Belfer Interior3

Weill Cornell Medicine, Belfer Research Building

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.

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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.

Todd Schliemann, Design Partner
0705 Belfer Site

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.

0705 Belfer Exterior Entry
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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.

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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.

0705 Belfer Entry
0705 Belfer Courtyard
0705 Belfer Exterior Elevation
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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.

0705 Belfer Lab


New York, NY
476,069 GSF
Laboratories, Research Support, Classrooms, Offices, Conference Rooms, Two-story Atrium, Landscaped Garden, Lounge, Study Spaces, Cafeteria


Ennead Design Team
Todd Schliemann, Duncan Hazard, Lois Mate, Craig McIlhenny, Charmian Place, Elizabeth Arnaiz, John Barrett, Mathew Bissen, Barrett Brown, Ilya Chistiakov, Colin Davis, Margaret Gorman, Frank Guittard, Katharine Huber, John Jordan, Zubair Kazi, Paul Keene, Stephen Kim, Whasook Lee, Tara Leibenhaut-Tyre, Apichat Leungchaikul, Christopher Lewis, James Macho, Nathan McRae, Si-Yeon Min, Dona Orozova, Jarrett Pelletier, Graeme Reed, Allison Reeves, Patricia Salas, Adam Sheraden, Paul Stanbridge, Margaret Tyrpa, Marcela Villarroel-Trindade, Ted Wagner, Ann Wright
Jacobs Consultancy, GPR Planners Collaborative
Photography / Videography
Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects, Squint/Opera


  • 2016
    • Award of Honor, Society of American Registered Architects New York Council
  • 2014
    • Engineering News-Record New York’s Best Projects, Merit Award for Higher Education
  • 2012
    • The Concrete Industry Board, Roger H. Corbetta Awards, Award of Merit


  • 2014
    • Hooper, Emily. "Weill Cornell Medical College’s Double Skin" (A|N Blog, 2/12/2014)
    • Ivanova, Irina. "Weill Cornell Opens $650M research building" (Crain's New York, 1/31/2014)
    • Miller, Linda. "Translating the Needs of Healthcare" (e-Oculus, 2/5/2014)
    • Saleh, Nico. "Weill Cornell Medical College / Todd Schliemann | Ennead Architects" (ArchDaily, 2/27/2014)
    • "Weill Cornell Medical College’s Belfer Research Building, New York, N.Y" (Laboratory Design, 1/13/2014)
    • "Weill Cornell Opens Its Transformative Belfer Research Building, Empowering Scientists to Speed Discoveries to Patients" (Weill Cornell Newsroom, 1/31/2014)
  • 2011
    • "Topping Out for $650M Weill Cornell Medical College Research Building" (New York Real Estate, 11/29/2011)
    • Rosen, Daniel Edward. "Weill Cornell Tops Out at 19 Stories" (New York Observer, 11/29/2011)
  • 2010
    • Polsky, Sara. "So Who’s Building Right Now? Schools and Scientists" (ny.curbed.com, 5/26/2010)
    • Weiss, Lois. "Medical research Building Going Up" (New York City Real Estate News, 5/27/2010)