Project DescriptionFrench contract research company Biotrial’s North American headquarters, designed by Francis Cauffman, is located in Newark, New Jersey’s University Heights Science & Technology Park (UHSTP) on Friday, September 30. The 70,000-sq.-ft. building location is strategic: the Park is an urban redevelopment initiative uniting five universities and other biomedical organizations. The high quality of the building’s design, which expresses Biotrial’s mission, has raised the bar for this redevelopment neighborhood, adding jobs and stimulating growth.
Francis Cauffman designed the building as two interlocking planes, whose materials reflect Biotrial’s values. The rear, private façade is solid black brick with matching mortar, which gives a sense of strength and solidity. In contrast, the front is a fritted glass curtain wall, communicating openness and transparency. The fritting creates movement as the light passes through, while also providing privacy. Inspired by the nature of Biotrial’s work, the designers created a ribbon of metal, suggestive of the fluidity of chemistry, to tie the two planes together. The ribbon forms an entrance canopy on the private side, moves through the building as the lobby ceiling, and reemerges on the public side to create a frame for the vestibule and finally the canopy for services.
Natural light penetrates deeply into the interior through the glass, and through asymmetrical ribbon windows in the brick façade. Inside, the building contains a laboratory, pharmacy, and clinical facilities including a 100-bed unit to conduct trials, corporate and volunteer recruitment office, a café, library, lounge, and gardens.