"My dream is to make the Kansas City area, which I call Biomed Valley, the best place for biomedical research within 25 years," says Jim Stowers Jr., chairman of American Century Cos. who, along with his wife Virginia, have bestowed a recent $1.114 billion gift to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO. The institute conducts basic research into complex genetic systems to unlock the mysteries of disease and find the key to their causes, treatment, and prevention.
The $225 million, world-class biological and medical research facility, totaling more than 640,000 square feet, houses laboratories, research support facilities, an animal resource center, administration, and maintenance. Although scientific teams began occupying the building in late 2000, the institute will eventually house 50 to 60 principal investigators, each directing a team of about 10 researchers.
The Stowers Institute has the beauty and character that directly responds to the Stowers Institute mission statement: "Hope for Life." As a result, the design reflects an interior character of timeless design - permanent in quality and special in detail. Project highlights include:
•"Nature and renewal" is the theme for the materials palette,
color selection, wood selections, quality of light, and commission of glass
and metal artists and craftsmen.
• Improving human existence is underscored in the interesting nooks and interactive spaces throughout the facility that invite researchers to pause and exchange ideas. Conference rooms, break rooms, shared lab support spaces, and other public spaces are situated along central corridors, and windows are placed in lab doors - all allowing scientists to view what each other is doing.
• The Gallery includes quiet interior niches, indoor gardens, and a pool fountain for gatherings or solitary reflection.
- Linda K. Monroe, Editorial Director