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Cornell University Constructs Multidisciplinary Research Building

Published 12/18/2023
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Cornell University is constructing the $54 million Atkinson Hall in Ithaca, N.Y. Designed by Lake Flato and SWBR Architects, the 104,000-gsf facility will meet the diverse needs of four unique programs, all of which are university-wide in scope. The multidisciplinary research building will house and support the growth of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, the Department of Computational Biology, the Center for Cancer Biology, and the Center for Immunology, including the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation. This vibrant nexus for interactive discovery will also offer additional capacity for a new graduate program in public health.

Standing four stories high with a basement level, the project will provide a mix of open and closed wet laboratories with flexible benching. Core instrumentation suites, fume hoods, and cell culture areas will be shared by several principal investigators in each wing. Dry computational labs will be linked by support spaces to the wet environments to create a high level of adaptability in the structure, which will supply both private offices and communal workspaces. A central public stair crowned by a large skylight will connect meeting and social venues on each level, creating a dynamic collaboration zone accessible to faculty, students, and staff around the clock.

Targeting LEED Gold certification, the zero-carbon-ready building (ZCRB) will feature a high-performance envelope with abundant glazing to admit natural light. Affiliated Engineers is the MEP engineer for the sustainable development, which will incorporate a stormwater management system with an exterior rain garden. Welliver began construction on the facility in fall of 2022 and completion is expected in August of 2024. 

Organization Project Role
Lake Flato
Architect of Record
SWBR Architects
Consulting Architect
Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI)
MEP Engineer
General Contractor