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As part of its strategic plan to grow Yale’s investment in medical research, the University committed to an increase in its inventory of flexible laboratory space. Campus facility growth led also to the need for additional parking capacity for its burgeoning employee population. The Amistad project addresses both needs in a single development.
The site lies to the south of the main medical school campus on a principal north-south campus circulation route, and to the south of a new mini park developed to relieve density and provide a place of respite for the campus and neighborhood community. The five-level 100,000-square foot laboratory building combines an open "loft" wing and an office “tower," with a basement vivarium and services level. The structure also acts as a liner concealing a major public façade of the parking structure.
The façade’s architectural language builds upon the existing context of red brick masonry and large simple window fenestration. The principal façade, to the north, capitalizes on abundant controlled natural light for the “bench” research zone. A roof top mechanical penthouse acts as an “attic” to the brick masonry base. In contrast to the lab building architecture, the parking structure is wrapped with a “shingled” light weight permeable metal grille skin for ventilation, ambient light, and fall protection whilst visually screening the automobiles from the street.