US-based architecture firm HOK has been selected to design Ri.MED Foundation’s $269m Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) near Palermo, Sicily, in southern Italy.
To be managed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the 334,000ft² facility will be used for biomedical research and development.
Expected to open in 2016, the BRBC will be able to host over 600 scientists and other staff when it starts operations.
Plans for future phases on the campus include a new hospital and a medical school.
As per the deal, HOK will organise the research facility as a small village integrated into the landscape.
A pedestrian street will link all of the buildings within the facility and it will be built overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north and the mountains to the south.
Four wings on three floors will feature laboratories, separated by floor-to-ceiling glass that maximises visibility between teams and allows natural light into the laboratories.
The laboratory space will feature a central conference centre with an auditorium.
Conference facilities, a small faculty club cafe and other amenities will be housed in the central commons building, with a patient trial clinic and incubator labs in its immediate vicinity.
HOK said that it is using building information modeling (BIM) to help develop the BRBC design and its design services for the facility include architecture, interior design, sustainable design, high-performance building engineering, lighting, environmental graphics and landscape architecture.
Ri.MED foundation vice president Bruno Gridelli said: "The biotechnology and biomedical research center will generate exciting scientific discoveries that will translate into new and better cures and bring great social and economic benefits to Sicily and Italy."
BRBC is expected to secure a minimum of LEED Gold certification from the Green Building Council Italia.
Image: Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center will house over 600 scientists and other staff and is anticipated to open in 2016. Photo: courtesy of HOK.