Mar 5, 2012

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Named 2012 Laboratory of the Year by R&D Magazine.

Excerpted from
by Janet Kelly

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the innovative 330,000-square-foot public-private facility that opened just more than a year ago on the UW–Madison campus, has been named the 2012 Laboratory of the Year.

This international competition, sponsored annually by R&D Magazine since 1966, is judged by a panel of industry experts to recognize the highest standards in architecture, laboratory design and “push-the-envelope” concepts in science buildings.

The unique facility houses twin research institutes: the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and UW-Madison’s public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery; and a main floor Town Center offering features and ongoing programming to engage the public in science. With architecture designed to encourage human interaction, the overarching goal of the building is to foster new interdisciplinary research collaborations across campus and beyond that lead to great discoveries in science.

“The award is a tremendous honor and reflects the careful collaboration, experience and skill that the project partners, donors John and Tashia Morgridge, the state of Wisconsin, UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation used to plan, design and build this exceptional research facility, now recognized as such worldwide,” says George Austin, who served as the building project manager.

The Discovery building was built with three research floors aboveground and one below, and a public venue for science that spans its block-long main floor.  The facility is located in the heart of campus at 330 N. Orchard St., between University Avenue and Campus Drive.  In addition to flexible state-of-the-art laboratories, it includes civic spaces and a Mesozoic garden, meeting rooms, three public restaurants, and a university resource center for inventors, entrepreneurs and startup companies. The building earned LEED Gold certification last year.

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