Northwestern University Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center

Chicago, Illinois
Leading-Edge Research, Forward-Looking Architecture

Northwestern University was in need of a state-of-the-art facility in which to conduct complex and demanding biomedical research—establishing labs and laboratory support for 550+ Principal Investigators and 3,300 graduate students.

The new Biomedical Research Center will serve as a vibrant research hub at the core of Chicago’s world-class academic medical district comprised of Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

To attract the best scientists and research minds, the new research space will be state-of-the-art in its features and amenities. New facilities will enable Northwestern scientists to conduct more ground-breaking research into the causes and cures of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and others. The design creates space for synergy and collaboration, building a seamless physical connection to Northwestern’s existing facilities and integrating with Streeterville’s dynamic urban setting.

What Makes It Cool
The design responds directly to the 1925 campus master plan, maximizing limited urban land resources.
The design pays homage to the context of Northwestern’s downtown campus with a curved glass exterior that references surrounding traditional Gothic structures.
The building’s transparent skin harvests natural light while revealing glimpses of internal activity to passersby.
What It Is
Expanding research capabilities and creating a unified core for research for the next century of discovery.

In its flexible conferencing suites and break/lounge areas, as well as collaborative spaces in lab neighborhoods, our design creates a dynamic, collegial environment in which important scientific discoveries will take place.

The exterior design was driven by the lab plan, which, in Phase I, will encompass nine laboratory floors configured in flexible “neighborhood” blocks, housing six to eight research teams each.

Our design creates an iconic shape on Chicago’s skyline, providing a contemporary reference to the signature towers on Northwestern’s Gothic-style campus while honoring the significance of the research activities that take place within.

Project Team

Ed Cordes
Bridget Lesniak
Andrew Hausmann
Adana Johns
Ralph Johnson
Thomas Mozina
Kristin Rosebrough
Mark Walsh
Jennifer Riddle Curley
Tim Wolfe