The design was developed in collaboration and partnership with Linea 5 Architects (Richard Radville RA)
The Ragon Institute was founded at MGH, MIT and Harvard with two goals. First, to contribute to an accelerated discovery of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and secondly, to serve as a world leader in the collaborative study of immunology.
To that end, through the generous funding by Susan and Terry Ragon, the Institute has emerged since 2009 as a leader in its field. To accommodate its growth, the institute has established a 70,000 SF headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA. Occupying four floors of an existing concrete mid-rise built circa 1970, the program calls for a mix of offices and lab space and supporting public amenities.
The upper three floors of labs and offices are connected by a new three story public space. The labs include a BL3 lab, 12 tissue culture labs. A 900 SF opening was cut through all the floors, creating a generously scaled public space for the Institute, a place where researchers could come together throughout the day. This public space also serves as an armature for other publicly oriented spaces (a Tea Room, cafes, a board room, break-out spaces, and the Director’s Office (Dr. Bruce Walker)). A dramatically crafted steel stair connects all the floors, spilling out onto a stage-like podium in the Tea-Room, allowing for impromptu or formal events to be accommodated.
The ground floor is dedicated to mostly public spaces, including a large auditorium (for up to 200 people), conference spaces and exhibit areas. It also supports the administration group, and as the main entrance lobby the first floor serves as the public face of the Institute. Since the first floor abuts exterior courtyards, the interiors of the auditorium and other public spaces are very visible to the outside, further enhancing the presence of the institute in Cambridge, while reflecting the institute’s underlying philosophy and collaborative – open culture.