Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

18,230 gross square feet


The project renovates two floors of the north wing of Riley-Robb Hall into high-quality, flexible-use Biosafety Level 2 laboratory research space for Cornell University's Biological and Environmental Engineering Department.

With the goals of both providing for the needs of the current faculty while remaining sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of future research, the renovations include typical large research project labs; smaller, one or two person labs for those faculty having only occasional needs for laboratory space, and support spaces that allow sharing of laboratory support resources. Shared spaces on both floors include a wet room, dry room and walk-in cooler. A walk-in freezer, radioisotope lab, tissue culture lab and UV photo room are located on the upper floor, and a microscope lab is on the lower floor.


In order to maximize efficiency of space and pursue a cost-efficient design strategy, a laboratory module of 11 feet was selected to mesh with the building's 22-foot structural bay. A new corridor offset to one side of the 16-foot-wide center bay creates a wide zone for large group labs along the south side, with full-height windows on both floors. The narrower zone along the north side, mostly below grade on the lower floor, provides space for smaller labs and support facilities. Mechanical distribution is similarly linked to the structural bay, with vertical chases paired on either side of the corridor at every other column line, and horizontal runs above the ceiling of the central bay.


For more information about this project contact Graham L. Gillespie, AIA:

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