APCF - Exterior Entrance, Northwest
The Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF) will be a state-of-the-art highly automated laboratory, integrated with a scientific collaboration facility, for production and characterization of proteins and protein crystals in order to take full advantage of Argonne's capabilities for determining the three-dimensional structures of proteins and characterization of their functions. The APCF will enhance Argonne's structural biology and protein function analysis efforts by providing highly specialized laboratory space devoted to characterization of the most challenging classes of proteins and assemblies, work that is currently slowed by infrastructure limitations. In addition, the APCF will provide the automated laboratories and modern computer capabilities needed to support emerging Argonne activities in synthetic biology. This state-of-the-art laboratory will provide researchers with the most advanced technology for protein science experiments in the state and the nation.
- Laboratory space for up to 76 researchers, together with support staff and visitors that will allow Argonne to maintain a leadership position in protein research;
- A physical connection portal to the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Experimental Hall that will provide streamlined functional access between the research activities of the APCF and APS;
- On-site parking for up to 126 vehicles, including spaces for displaced parking as a result of the new facility; and
- An integrated loading dock for ease of access.
- Provides a concept for a modern specialized facility that will complement the surrounding buildings and presents a contemporary image consistent with the pursuit of the pioneering scientific research taking place at Argonne,
- Minimizes required modifications to the existing APS facility, and
- Accommodates the potential implementation of several different APS beam line extension projects currently under consideration as part of the APS upgrade.
The APCF will be home to several research groups and will provide highly flexible laboratory and office space. Research in structural biology will be done along with protein functional characterization and synthesis of unique protein activities. These laboratory activities will be supported by common core facilities.
As an overall massing concept, the building's form is a direct reflection of the composite research programs it will house. While the laboratories serve as the primary research component, the facility is designed to contain both open and closed office spaces in support of laboratory activities. Secondary spaces for administration, building support, and interactive collaboration spaces complete the Functional Program.
Flexible, Modular and Collaborative
APCF - Laboratory Space
The conceptual design for the APCF is a one-story steel structure split into an office bar and laboratory bar that are connected by a circulation spine. The two separate spaces are intended to be codependent allowing the scientists to move between their laboratories and research offices.
The laboratory environments are based on a modular layout of eleven feet by twenty feet. These spaces will address ideas of open versus closed labs, generic versus specific space, and flexible versus optimized areas.
The flexible and modular approach strongly enhances the ability to implement technological improvements and re-assignment of space without significant effort or cost, while maintaining an orderly approach to the laboratory configurations as research needs evolve. In addition to the highly specialized crystallization suite, the lab areas are generally consist of open lab, lab support and shared core lab facilities. The open lab modules provide large flexible research areas, rather than dedicated smaller modules assigned to a single task or process. While being more efficient and flexible, the open lab concept also promotes collaboration and interaction. The separated, but adjacent lab support areas accommodate major lab equipment which lowers noise levels in the open lab and enhances safety with fume hood and chemical storage alcoves.
The use of a flexible casework/workbench system, combined with the prescribed building module and an efficient vertical and horizontal service distribution, assures a larger degree of flexibility for all aspects of APCF. Open Labs will utilize a table-based bench system consisting of height-adjustable, movable tables and full width uprights with adjustable shelves. Counters will be epoxy resin. Roll-in cabinets, with an add-a-drawer feature, will also serve as the below-the-counter storage. Services for the movable benches will be distributed in the ceiling cavity and will be brought to the bench to support the natural gas, vacuum, compressed air, electrical and/or telecommunication termination devices. The open lab “ghost corridor” will have fixed modular casework components for the sink units, and adjustable height, movable tables on caster/glide combinations. Except at the lab sink units and flammable storage cabinet locations, core lab and lab support spaces will also be equipped with adjustable casework, benches and service distribution similar to the open lab. Equipment rack systems will be utilized in areas where high-density of bench-mounted equipment is desired. Heavy duty equipment benches may be utilized in selected support or core lab areas. High performance (low flow) fume hood alcoves and flammable storage cabinets will also be located in the support areas.
The primary exterior materials in the office bar are glass and metal, similar to that of the APS. The office bar contains open workstations, closed offices, administration spaces, four conference rooms and the lobby. Ample common areas are provided to foster ideas through collaborative discussion. The ends of the office bar offer extended views of the surrounding landscape. The curtainwall system consists of high performance glass with a combination of Low-E coatings, ceramic frit patterns and internal operable shading devices to maximize natural light infiltration and minimize solar heat gain. The use of glass in the office bars provides the users with direct visual access to the surrounding forest preserve and can reduce energy costs through the use of daylight harvesting to reduce the need for artificial light. The individual closed offices and workstations are designed for privacy, but organized in a manner that will create venues for interaction. This environment will be designed to facilitate interaction, based on proximity within the building, between the primary researcher and their staff, as well as between various lab researchers. As the primary goal, this space will maximize a collaborative effort between scientists. The offices are organized in clusters to promote collaboration, to allow for flexibility, and facilitate natural light penetrating deep into the interior space of the building.
Collaborative space is designed to facilitate discussion, interaction and collaboration defined by its users. The building lobby is a space for interaction and may contain art, display research happening within the building or be used as a gathering space. The conference rooms will support moderate size gatherings of people, but also may support visual display of scientific research. The break room and circulation spine are public spaces for retreat and relaxation. Lastly, the link between the two buildings creates an incidental interaction between users of the building.