Higher Education

Northwestern University Lab Building Exemplifies Next-Gen Workplace for Biomedical Research

Opened in 2019, the Light-Filled Facility Awaits a Vertical Addition of 16 Lab Floors

Published 3-2-2022

Build the first 14 floors now, then add a 16-story tower a decade or so into the future. That was Northwestern University’s unconventional approach to the construction of the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center on the Chicago campus of its Feinberg School of Medicine. It wasn’t the only out-of-the-box decision that enabled the university to move forward with its vision of creating a 1.2 million-sf, next-generation research hub about 10 miles south of its main campus in Evanston. Similarly inventive is the ownership arrangement of the first half, which became the largest academic biomedical research building in the U.S. when it opened in 2019. One of the medical school’s three major hospital affiliates, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, owns four of the nine lab floors (amounting to roughly 160,000 sf) and has easements to four-ninths of all the common space in the 625,000-sf structure.