Lab layout supports interdisciplinary activities and collaboration

Couch Biomedical Research Building

Washington University School of Medicine

St. Louis, MO

  • Laboratory
  • Landscaping
  • Offices

Project Story

This bold new building, housing labs for genetics and biomedical research, is an important expansion of the Washington University School of Medicine campus. Encompassing 215,000 SF, the building is seen as an important asset in attracting and retaining research talent, keeping the institution in the forefront of genetics research.

  • Size

    215,000 SF

  • Status

    Completed 2015, LEED Gold

  • Associate Architect

    Goody Clancy

The Work

The facility replaces older, less efficient research space with new, highly flexible space to accommodate new research teams and interdisciplinary research, plus BSL-2 laboratories for all disciplines and genotyping laboratories. It houses the Department of Genetics, the Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, the Department of Medicine and the Department of Developmental Biology.

The exterior design highlights the open spatial arrangement and the science research activities that happen in the space. The north façade is principally clad in curtain wall to maximize available daylight in the building without significant cooling load. The south façade is more solid, with punched windows, to allow daylight but minimize heat gain. All six floors are designed with open, modular daylit labs and support areas. Internal transparency among all spaces enhances collaboration among scientists and between disciplines.

Services Provided

The open lab design of the research building provides a wonderful opportunity for us to jointly recruit faculty with preclinical departments.

Victoria J. Fraser

Chairman, Department of Medicine