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Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository

NK Architects

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Rutgers University


  • Daniel Topping
  • Walter R. Nieczkowski

Project Status


Year Completed


Room or Space


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Project Description

The Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is a designated national core facility that provides clinical biosamples, data processing and repository samples to NIH-funded grantees and private research foundations. The renovation of Nelson Hall consolidates RUCDR’s labs from various locations on the campus into one central location in Nelson Hall’s “C” Wing. This central location will house labs for automated (robotic) nucleic acid extraction, processing and molecular analysis, as well as offices and gathering spaces for faculty and graduate students.

The primary challenge of this project was how to convert a 1950’s era teaching lab into a state of the art research lab that offered a stimulating and dynamic environment. Our team achieved this through the following measures:

Primary circulation was pushed off center, allowing the creation of deeper lab/support alcove modules

Lab demising walls were eliminated, creating a large open lab that fosters assignability, flexibility and collaboration

A series of small aperture prefabricated skylights, in conjunction with clerestories at all interior partitions, allow carefully controlled daylight to permeate the entire facility

The configuration of the open lab and adjacent PI and Post Doc suite result in 100% of the space being assignable, maximizing space utilization and return on investment.

The project will be pursuing Gold LEEDTM Certification.
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