Bayer HealthCare recently opened a new facility for its Interventional division that designs, manufactures, and markets therapeutic medical devices. The challenge to the design team was to create a space within an existing warehouse that would enhance the image and brand of this cutting edge company.
According to architect Ross Naylor, “The solution was to insert a soft, clean, and benign intervention into the existing building that is a metaphor for the type of devices Bayer manufactures.”
The intervention is defined by an acoustical shell, or cocoon, with a 17' 6" high ceiling that wraps to the floor and is broken by dormers that allow natural light into the space. Measuring an expansive 166' x 63' in size, the shell’s distinctive ceiling/wall system was created using Optima planks from Armstrong.
The high performance Optima planks have an extremely high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.95 and Articulation Class (AC) of 190. “Acoustics were a major consideration,” Naylor says. “For a space that houses anywhere from 75 to 100 occupants on a given day, it is actually very quiet.”
The Optima ceiling and wall system also features a high Light Reflectance (LR) value of 0.90. “To help introduce natural light into the space, we added clerestory windows and skylights to the building,” he says. “The light reflectance of the ceiling and walls allows more of that daylight to penetrate the space.”
Aesthetically, all the planks are 1' x 8' in size. Naylor explains one-foot-widths were used instead of two-foot-widths because of the faceted curve that creates the shell. “Two-foot-wide panels would not have had the same effect. The segmentation would have been much more apparent,” he says. “The panels’ smooth, refined texture also added to the clean, crisp interior environment the client desired.”
The fluid shape of the intervention creates a strikingly innovative design and an exhilarating home for the company.