HGA to Design University of Kentucky's $265 Million Research Facility

A new, $265 million, 306,000-square-foot collaborative research center broke ground today at the University of Kentucky (UK) on the Lexington campus. HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm, has been tapped as the lead design architect for the highly-anticipated facility that will house scientific research that will work to resolve health disparities in Kentucky such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and substance abuse. Champlin Architecture serves as the executive architect and architect of record.

"The collaborative design spearheaded by Champlin's leading executive architect, Michael J. Battoclette, AIA, will forever change the way in which research is conducted at the University of Kentucky and has the potential to serve as a model for the future of medical research," said HGA's Stan Chiu, AIA, LEED AP, and UK design team principal. "The priority for our team is to design a work environment where researchers, principal investigators and even nutritionists can intersect - formally and informally - to collaboratively develop methods for chronic disease prevention and treatment."

Slated for completion in summer of 2018, the new structure, Research Building Two (RB2), is set to attract world-class researchers by supporting UK's goal to approach healthcare with science. After studying nearly a dozen traditional medical research laboratories and the proximity of wet lab researchers in relation to data analysts, also referred to as principal investigators (PIs), the UK design team determined a more collaborative design was effective for productivity, with natural light for all throughout the facility. This includes an evolved work flow environment that differs from traditional secluded laboratories, in which wet lab researchers and data analysts work together in an open space to tackle some of the most complex chronic diseases that require multiple specialties.

"Thanks to an expert design team under the direction of UK's own Vice President for Research, Lisa A. Cassis, Ph.D., we are finally commencing construction on a research facility that will foster collaboration on issues of health disparity in the Bluegrass State," said Jay Blanton, University of Kentucky's executive director of public relations and marketing. "With support from the state, our institution has an opportunity now to play a leading role in reducing the rate of preventable deaths in Kentucky from devastating diseases."

Located west of the existing Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) and north of the Biological Pharmaceutical Building (BioPharm Complex), the design of RB2 will also engage the community. This includes inviting, open lobby areas to foster interaction between researchers and community participants, visible stairwells to encourage physical activity and a café that will serve healthy food.