Project:Terasaki Research Institute
Architect:Atelier Hitoshi Abe (design), House & Robertson (executive)
Area:15,000 square feet
The Terasaki Research Institute, founded by the late Dr. Paul Terasaki, professor emeritus at UCLA and internationally renowned innovator in the field of human organ transplant technology, focuses its research on organ transplantation and immunology. The Terasaki Family Foundation elected to open a new research facility in Westwood, California, just south of the UCLA campus. Dr. Terasaki passed away shortly after the groundbreaking for this new building.
The new three-story research facility, with one story below grade, is broken out into areas for technical work, research offices, presentation spaces, reading rooms, and a retail bookstore. The architecture is open and bright, with extensive use of interior glass to allow natural light to flow through the rooms. The project’s centerpiece includes two dramatic atriums comprising approximately 25% of the first and second floors. Each atrium is covered by a contoured, translucent Teflon-coated fabric structure. At the center of each of these fabric enclosures is an hour-glass-shaped metallic oculus approximately eleven feet wide and nine feet tall, capped by skylight to reflect light into all interior spaces as the sun passes overhead.
Located in Westwood’s congested urban environment, the building footprint extends to the property lines, requiring careful logistical planning and public safety protection throughout the construction process.