The new Multidisciplinary Research Building (MRB), located adjacent to the existing Structural Biology Center on the University of Kansas West Campus, provides a multidisciplinary "think tank" for researchers to share ideas and promote the sciences. Design of the facility was driven by the functional needs of a variety of research projects and disciplines; in addition, the project included a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory suite for researchers working with hazardous organisms and pathogens, an environmentally stable isotope lab, a biochemistry lab for geological research, and clean-room facilities for nanofabrication research.
Special Design Features
Designed to foster an extraordinarily rich mix of collaborative research activities, the MRB started with the basic planning approach. Openness and transparency are valued by the university as important assets, and the MRB "opens its arms and reaches" toward the future campus promenade and distant views. While the research labs are strung along the utility core, spaces dedicated to the exchange of ideas are concentrated around the cascading stairs facing the campus.Technological quality of the building, reinforced by expressed building systems, metal cladding, and glass, reflects the youthful spirit and optimism of students and instructors. At night, the building glows and reveals the dynamic character of the public spaces arranged along the perimeter, as well as the grand staircase.