The Architecture of Research

Can architecture inspire great science?

Stem-cell research, genomics, nanotechnology, neuroscience: for every pathbreaking discov-ery that appears in newspaper headlines promising to expand the limits of human knowledge or giving hope to people suffering from chronic illnesses, there is a scientific-research laboratory hidden somewhere on a college campus, in a government complex, or a private office park. In this special section featuring Rafael Viñoly Architects’ 2006 research center for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Louis Kahn’s 1963 Salk Institute—along with a handful of notable recent projects—we go behind the scenes to examine contemporary trends and historical precedents in the making of great environments for science.


The DNA of Science Labs
Can architecture help produce paradigm-shifting discoveries? A research center by Rafael Viñoly aims to find out what makes scientists—and the human mind—tick.

The Greening of Science
A biomolecular-research center by Behnisch Architects shows off its sustainable features.

High-Rise Research
Sloan-Kettering’s new cancer-research center finds extra room in the uptown Manhattan sky.

The Glass Lab
A genomic-research center for Harvard and MIT reflects the latest trends in university science buildings.

The Science Hall of Fame
Revered by architects and historians, Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute has stood the test of time and become a model for the modern research facility.

Recent Programs