<R&D Building 103, Novartis Campus, Shanghai, 2007–2014, Competition 1st prize


The Research & Development Laboratory Building 103 offers 12.400m² of space above ground for research laboratories and the associated office space. It is one of the first seven six-storey office and laboratory buildings of the new Novartis Campus in Shanghai to be constructed between 2008 and 2015 on the basis of the master plan by the Chinese-American architect Yung Ho Chang.

The competition design was created in 2007 for the China Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. The building was inaugurated in 2015.

The 35 m high laboratory and office buildings of the Campus alternate with single-storey courtyard buildings, each of which lines a green space. The reception area in the east and a central green area in the north characterize the special location of Lab 103 at the southeast corner of the campus.

The design of the laboratory building takes up Asian and Western influences, as can be found in many places in Shanghai since the 19th century. The outermost layer of the 61 m long, 40 m deep structure forms 1.5 m deep loggias across all floors. The shell thus consists of two layers. The inner layer is formed by a glass curtain wall and the supporting structure - the outer projecting slabs with "dancing columns". The undulating shape of the columns is inspired by a semi-finished product of traditional Chinese roof tiles. The positioning of the columns varies in their distances from the glass envelope. The soft and airy rhythm of the frame gives the building a constantly changing appearance depending on the position of light and view. The columns protect the interior from direct sunlight, while the large windows of the inner layer of the envelope indirectly ensure natural lighting and views.

The interior is designed as an interactive workspace. The clear room heights of 4.75 m on the ground floor and 3.30 m on the upper floors internally support the hall character of the building. The large connected yet clearly arranged rooms promote communication and offer possibilities to withdraw for concentrated work and undisturbed conversations. The choice of furniture and natural materials lends the loft-like laboratory a warm atmosphere.

The laboratory building 103 serves as a platform for the exchange of ideas between the teams in the building and other buildings, as well as between colleagues and guests who have arrived from far away. Like the buildings on the Novartis Campus in Basel, the laboratory building is openly accessible at ground level. The program includes a café and a bar, a business lounge. In addition to spacious meeting rooms, the offices of the research management are located.

The four laboratory floors are equipped for interdisciplinary research teams of around 200 biologists, chemists and computer scientists. The top floor encloses the extensive building services engineering, which is inscribed in the structure as a full storey.

Competition: 1st prize
Date: 2007-2014
Client: Novartis Pharma International, CNIBR
Location: Pudong Shanghai China
Gross floor Area (GFA): above ground 12.349m²
Use / Function: Laboratories, Offices, Parking
Design of workstations: Sevil Peach
Landscape Architect: West 8


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