Introducing Janelia

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute's new $500 million linkurl:Janelia farm;http://www.hhmi.org/janelia/ campus opens its doors officially next week. This week I toured the main building, which will house 26 labs, during a gathering of HHMI's international researchers. The building is striking. It's shaped like a C and tucked into the side of a hill. The roof is covered with grass and serves as such a convincing meadow that several deer have trotted off the edge. Many of the walls are made of

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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Sep 28, 2006
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute's new $500 million linkurl:Janelia farm;http://www.hhmi.org/janelia/ campus opens its doors officially next week. This week I toured the main building, which will house 26 labs, during a gathering of HHMI's international researchers. The building is striking. It's shaped like a C and tucked into the side of a hill. The roof is covered with grass and serves as such a convincing meadow that several deer have trotted off the edge. Many of the walls are made of thick glass--responsible for a few embarassing walk-ins for some people--and lend themselves to the trendy, open concept laboratory design. There are no doubt many other great feats of architecture at Janelia, but what really impressed me were the floors in the pub (yes, there is a pub). They are laid in four inch square cross-sections of mesquite. So when a late night at the lab calls for a little...
This week I toured the main building, which will house 26 labs, during a gathering of HHMI's international researchers. The building is striking. It's shaped like a C and tucked into the side of a hill. The roof is covered with grass and serves as such a convincing meadow that several deer have trotted off the edge. Many of the walls are made of thick glass--responsible for a few embarassing walk-ins for some people--and lend themselves to the trendy, open concept laboratory design. There are no doubt many other great feats of architecture at Janelia, but what really impressed me were the floors in the pub (yes, there is a pub). They are laid in four inch square cross-sections of mesquite. So when a late night at the lab calls for a little procrastinating, you can grab a cold one and count rings to figure out how old the trees were that now support your stylish bar stool, specially designed by the architect. However, I do have one complaint about the building. For all its beauty and ergonomics and proper lighting and commitment to providing a good work and learning environment, Janelia persists in a design flaw that has plagued me since elementary school. There are still no lefty desks in the auditorium.

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