MIT Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) | Paul Lukez ArchitecturePaul Lukez Architecture


MIT Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES)

Cambridge, MA

IMES aims to accelerate innovation across a spectrum of activities that span discovery, design, and delivery of new medical devices and products.

IMES combines two domains of knowledge in an effort to “advance the human condition,” to quote Terry Ragon. This requires collaboration from many groups of scientists, researchers and professionals with diverse fields of expertise.

Our design challenge, then, was to create spaces for these groups to cooperatively pursue research projects that were still evolving or not yet defined. To understand the types of science and research the IMES team would undertake and how they would shape the workspace’s final design, our design-construction team conducted extensive interviews, laboratory visits and long discussions with all key stakeholders, as well as further research on IMES’s program. Through this process, we learned the types of activities that needed design support, as well as the particular relationships between principal investigators (PI) and researchers that could be enriched through different design strategies, which sometimes bent the rules of lab design conventions.

Our research results were assembled in a detailed document that included interview transcripts, key takeaways, best-case studies, and program compilation and analysis. In addition, preliminary “test fits” were conducted to see how Building E-25’s third-floor plate might be organized around pre-established structural, mechanical and electrical systems. This set the stage for all future steps the design-construction team would take.

The results of the design “process,” as illustrated in Part I, were critical in informing the final design, construction and configuration of these spaces at the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) at MIT. The final design was documented in the “working drawings” and the technical renderings the builders required in order to price, spec and construct the lab, office and public areas in this institute.

The intensive design and construction procedure yielded a custom-made environment specifically tailored to the needs of IMES and its talented scientists and staff.

Everyone who was involved in the planning, design, and construction stages was highly motivated to create a collaborative atmosphere that would support scientists and researchers in accelerating innovation through discovery, design, and delivery of new ideas and concepts according to the precepts of IMES’s charter and vision statement.