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Teijin Institute for Biomedical Research

This “Cinderella” commission presented James Polshek (then thirty-two years old and the architect of buildings no larger than a New York City townhouse) with the opportunity to create a scientific research machine. The building design was the first institutional exemplar of the fundamental principles that would drive all of Polshek’s work. In its siting, the design optimizes daylighting and vistas; its formal identity is an expression of the relationship between research and the building’s orientation on the site; and its internal organization along a central east-west corridor humanizes the highly mechanized and repetitive laboratory program. The building’s concrete superstructure contains interstitial spaces that allowed it to begin its life as a polymer textile research facility and twenty-five years later to be adapted for biomedical research. Ninety individual laboratories are accommodated on the five laboratory floors; interstitial spaces house the sophisticated mechanical equipment required for lab functions. The primary research lounge, library, auditorium and executive offices surround an enclosed garden on the ground floor, and the landscaped roof is reserved for leisure use.

Teijin Institute for Biomedical Research

Tokyo, Japan

500,000 square feet


Design Partner

James S. Polshek