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J. Craig Venter Institute

ZGF Architects

Shared By

Chelsea Blahut

Project Name

J. Craig Venter Institute


4120 Capricorn Lane

Project Status



44,607 sq. feet


J. Craig Venter Institute


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Project Description


The client’s commitment to environmental stewardship initiated the challenge for the design team to create a net-zero energy (NZE) laboratory for its new West Coast research institute, which resulted in a 44,607 SF building comprised of a single-story laboratory wing and a three-story office / administrative wing framing a central courtyard, all sitting above a below-grade parking structure for 112 cars. The new facility was designed to achieve LEED-Platinum certification and a net-zero energy footprint, making it the first such biological laboratory in the country. The courtyard serves as the heart of the Institute, drawing researchers across and into the collaborative outdoor space. The project uses a modest palette of materials: high-performance glazing, Spanish cedar wood, and high-strength concrete. Each material was considered for its contribution to the enhancement of the building’s performance, resulting in a building that is both functional and artful in its simplicity.
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