The new Agora Research Building
The ‘AGORA’ Translational Cancer Research Building will become the SCC’s flagship and a focal point of its operations, when it is inaugurated in early 2018.
Located on the CHUV campus, this visionary building, with its « open » architecture aimed to foster collegial interactions throughout, will gather up to 300 cancer researchers and bio-engineers as well as clinical researchers into thematic ‘neighborhoods’, facilitating ‘bumping’ intersections in a 9,000 m2 space under one roof, as a community of experts united in the fight against cancer. The building will comprise three research lab floors, a pre-clinical research facility, as well as imaging and molecular analysis facilities.
The “agora”, the public level of the building, is designed to create frequent daily interactions, where researchers meet by plan or by chance, as they work or transit through the building. The building offers also a visionary atrium fostering reflection, communication and planned or accidental encounters. The laboratory floors have comfortable spaces for informal meetings and interactions through the workplaces, and its design facilitates horizontal interactions within a given floor, as well as vertical interactions across floors, through ample transparent staircases. Open, continuous lab spaces eliminate barriers among groups, and give ample flexibility for constantly reshaping of research. Offices are clustered to enhance interactions among leading investigators, and generous space is dedicated to clinicians and bioinformaticians.
« Both interdisciplinary and disciplinary communication as the central element of successful research will be evident in the organization of the floor plans. Communication plays a central role both inside and outside the entire building » commented prize-winning architect, Stefan Behnisch, at the opening of the competition exhibition on CHUV premises in January 2013.
The ISREC Foundation is funding the construction of the building, the cost of which is estimated to be 80 million CHF.