The Research Center is a 29,000 square foot project comprised of office and laboratory spaces for a multi-national mining conglomerate. The facility specializes in testing the performance of Imerys’ specialty minerals in the products manufactured by the company’s clients. The space also serves as a marketing environment for promoting Imerys to future customers. Seamlessly integrating diverse programmatic elements while creating dynamic and unique spaces became the prominent design challenge.
The design concentrated heavily on crafting a functional and efficient system of laboratories focused on materials testing and quality control. Labs ranged from high-bay spaces accommodating large material testing equipment to environmentally sensitive, environmentally controlled laboratories. The facility includes a gallery and meeting center that serves to bring Imerys’ staff together to promote collaboration. The meeting center provides an environment to promote the company to current and prospective clients by representing Imerys’ mission and enhancing the organization’s image. The facility’s role as a marketing platform led to the organization of lab spaces along a dramatic circulation spine, providing an opportunity to tour customers through the spaces and reveal the exciting work being performed by Imerys’ scientists. To further reinforce the mission and values of Imerys, interior finish and lighting selections were made based on themes and aesthetic considerations related to the scientific focus of the facility. Shaw Level Hexagon and Plane Hexagon flooring products were carefully chosen due to the dynamic patterns that can be achieved with the many variations in color and material. Hexagonal carpet tiles preferred for acoustical considerations in the meeting spaces seamlessly transition to hexagonal LVT that is necessary in the laboratory spaces, reinforcing the integrated nature of the programmatic activities within the facility.