The Rockefeller University in New York City is the world’s leading biomedical research institution. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus was recently constructed to provide an additional two acres, four buildings and expansive laboratory space to The Rockefeller University’s existing 14-acre campus.
Creating two acres of usable space on the east side of Manhattan is no easy feat, so the University took advantage of its air rights over the FDR Drive, one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the city, and constructed the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Research Building, the centerpiece of the new campus, above the Drive. This architectural design allowed the building space to be built out horizontally—instead of vertically—with two long floors of state-of-the-art laboratory space to foster collaboration between scientists.
Access to mechanical, electrical and plumbing is a challenge in any research or lab environment, especially when you consider the number of air changes required throughout the facility. The Rockefeller University utilized Underfloor Service Distribution (UFSD) to route lab gasses, water, drainage, electric and telecommunication under Tate’s raised access floor, and Vertical Service Modules to supply those services to the lab benches. Because Tate’s raised floor, along with the Vertical Service Modules by Rafael Viñoly Architects’ Mr. Jay Bargman, are designed on a 2’x2’ grid, it allows the space to be readily reconfigurable with ease of access. As the lab staff grows and more benches are required, the maintenance team can simply add more Vertical Service Modules and furniture to accommodate additional employees. This solution created a safe and economical lab environment without exceeding the building’s three-story height limit. It also allows the facility’s maintenance staff to access the services without working above active experiments, which minimizes the disruption of the scientific operations that take place within the lab.
With the combination of Tate’s raised access flooring, Rafael Viñoly Architects’ Vertical Service Modules and lab benches that allow for service distribution from the bottom up, The Rockefeller University was able to individually supply power, telecommunication, lighting and all required lab services to each individual lab station throughout the facility. And because these services are housed under the floor, they can easily move and be rerouted along with the lab stations as the facility is reconfigured. Tate’s raised access floors helped create an ideal lab environment that can change as technology and science evolves, and who knows what kind of world-class, scientific discoveries will be made on those floors.
“Throughout the entire process of developing this new facility, the Tate team was very professional and responsive. They stood out with respect to the quality of the product and the pride in the work they do. The floors are very high quality and well-engineered; they are very stable and have helped create the efficiency we were aiming for.”
—Alex Kogan, Associate Vice President, Plant Operations & Housing, The Rockefeller University