March 23, 2011

Rafael Vinoly Architects - UCSF Stem Cell Building

Seen here at Designboom
all images courtesy rafael vinoly architects
photographer: bruce damonte

The university of california's 'ray and dagmar dolby regeneration medicine building' designed by world-renowned firm rafael vinoly architects has celebrated its official opening. Located on a sloping urban hillside in san francisco, the continuous structure navigates the uneven site, responding with a serpentine form that is supported by a system of steel space trusses.

Hugging the curve of the topography and pre-existing site conditions, the building rests lofted on an organization of steel supports which branch out from concrete piers, minimizing excavation as well as incorporating seismic base isolation. the single-stretch structure accommodates one continuous laboratory on its main floor which steps down a half-storey to create four split-level areas. each level features an office cluster and a green roof with wildflowers and plants. A system of exterior ramps and stairs provide circulation between floors while an elevated pedestrian bridge connects the building to three nearby research facilities and UCSF medical center.

The transitional space between the split levels become a hub for activities, featuring break rooms and common areas for an open interface for communication and a cross-pollination of ideas. Largely outfitted with interior glazing, the laboratories further promote collaboration with an open-floor plan and a flexible casework system that can be quickly reconfigured to accommodate the programs' needs.

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