University Park, the project site is also near the center of the
campus core, at the corner of Bigler and Pollock roads, busy
campus thoroughfares served by buses.
Interdepartmental collaboration is seen by many as the
path to the future. Today’s scientists often benefit from recently developed and cutting-edge conceptual and experimental
tools that have applications in a number of disciplines. Nanotechnology, for example, is often of great interest to biologists.
In this age of interdisciplinary studies, collaboration may be
essential for future advances. Encouraging that collaboration
can be as simple as providing easy access and common lounges
or as challenging as accommodating future laboratory apparatus that will run experiments not yet imagined.
The goal of providing state-of-the-art facilities is,
of course, the most challenging aspect of laboratory design.
In both biology and materials research, working at the micro-
scopic level is routine and working at the molecular level is not
unusual. As the scale of observation and manipulation becomes
smaller, the need to strictly control the vibrations that can affect
scientific apparatus becomes more important. What is more,
observations and experiments can be disturbed not just by me-
chanical vibrations but also by electric and magnetic fields.
Thus, a primary role of a modern laboratory facility is to either
mitigate these influences or isolate the equipment from them.
THORNTON TOMASETTI, ABOVE; © JEREMY BITTERMAN, COURTESY OF RAFAEL VIÑOLY ARCHITECTS, BELOW
 Civil Engineering SEPTEMBER 2012