This project was designed to enable the County Department of Health to quickly and accurately identify a wide range of bacterial or viralogical threats. It consists of an addition to house microbiology diagnostic facilities as well as renovations to existing labs. The program adds two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) labs, an auto-instrument room and a sterile room, as well as laboratories for molecular biology research. Urbahn’s addition design incorporates a range of sustainable features, from heat recovery systems to transoms and light-shelves to increase interior daylighting.
While the addition stands with a strong degree of visual autonomy, it also relates to the existing building through the use of compatible materials. Clad in Minnesota limestone with a sculpturally dynamic metal rooftop screen, the Molecular Biology Lab serves as one element in the “village of forms” that has accrued over the years through several additions built around the original lab.