SAN RAFAEL – BioMarin Pharmaceutical’s new three-story, 85,554-square-foot research center at 791 Lincoln Ave. is the fifth building on the San Rafael campus that also serves as the company’s headquarters.
The firm is dedicated to discovery and development of therapeutics that will save lives for patients with rare and life-threatening disorders. As BioMarin expanded at this location, it saw a need for a flexible and efficient facility to house office and research labs with the ability to convert new space to full lab use.
Robert Baffi, BioMarin’s executive vice president of technical operations, said the purpose of this building is to conduct innovative research in a setting specifically designed with open spaces adjacent to labs to facilitate greater scientific interaction and collaboration. More than 1,000 BioMarin employees work at the San Rafael campus, including approximately 400 at the research center. The company also has offices in Novato with 600 employees.
DPR Construction was the general contractor, and DGA Architects designed the site plan and interior architecture for the building, including programming and laboratory planning.
In the offices, a planned approach for the workplace was adopted throughout with a single office and workstation size.
Every seat has access to natural lighting and exterior views. Workstations are configured for the use of employees in desk chairs or standing, while a variety of meeting spaces from conference rooms to informal lounges are located in the building cores. In designing the labs, the goal for DGA planners was to maximize efficiency while creating an engaging work environment. Standard lab modules were developed with similar configurations so they could be used by a variety of research groups. Flexible casework on casters allows benches to be repositioned to accommodate users.
To maintain an open lab layout, utilities are fed from ceiling panes or located at the perimeters.
An extensive use of interior glass enhances high visibility into the labs from the main corridor, enabling these spaces to be light-filled while offering outdoor views.
In a novel use of main lab corridors as interaction areas, counters along the in-board windows provide write-up areas and whiteboards encourage collaboration. Windows and doors were also strategically aligned to bring more daylight into the heart of the building. Breakout spaces and kitchen areas were positioned close to the labs on each floor.
On the outside, the building embraces the already established architecture of the campus with a cement plaster finish and standing seam metal roofing forming a familiar lodge style that blends comfortably against a backdrop of the hills and provides a transition to the surrounding downtown buildings
BioMarin’s Research Center
CATEGORY; Medical Research
COST: Not Disclosed
CONTRACTOR: DPR Construction
ARCHITECT: DGA Architects
FINANCING: Not Disclosed
COMPLETED: Dec. 31, 2015, with occupancy February 2016