Rafael Viñoly Architects is chosen to design HHMI research campus in Virginia.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced the selection of Rafael Viñoly Architects PC as the architect for its Janelia Farm research campus, which is located in Loudoun County, Virginia.

In the next decade, the Institute anticipates spending about $500 million to construct and operate the campus, which is situated along the Potomac River near Leesburg, Virginia, about 30 miles from HHMI headquarters. The campus will provide a center for creating and disseminating the research tools needed for biomedicine in the 21st century, with an emphasis on collaborative research among biologists and scientists from other fields.

"We are excited to be working with Rafael Viñoly, whose vision and experience with large scale projects are a perfect fit for the Janelia Farm research campus," said HHMI President Thomas R. Cech.

Viñoly, who heads a 105-member architectural firm based in New York City, was selected from a slate of distinguished architects, who participated in an architectural charette held at the Institute last fall. The charette included a series of collaborative meetings between the architects and HHMI planning groups where participants shared and discussed ideas about the project. The charette at HHMI occurred after an initial planning phase led by the Institute's Janelia Farm Strategic Planning Committee, which received advice from members of the Institute's Medical Advisory Board, HHMI investigators, and other renowned scientists and science administrators.

Founded in 1982, Rafael Viñoly Architects is an internationally recognized architectural firm with offices in New York, Tokyo and Buenos Aires. The firm's diverse projects are found in many major cities in the United States, Japan, Korea, Europe and South America, and include the Cairo Financial Center, the Tokyo International Forum, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the National Neuroscience Research Center, which will be located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Institute plans to construct about 750,000 gross square feet of space, including research laboratories, a conference center and transient housing for over 100 visitors. It is anticipated that the facilities at Janelia Farm will be available for occupancy in about four years. The scientific staff will eventually number more than 200.

For the collaborative research activities on the new campus, HHMI will invite proposals from the scientific community at large, as well as from HHMI investigators. HHMI will seek proposals that center on cutting-edge scientific and technological goals, and will give preference to projects that bring together diverse individuals and expertise from different environments. To be successful, proposals will have to demonstrate originality, creativity, and a high degree of scientific risk-taking.

  • Loudoun County Site: Janelia Farm is located four miles east of Leesburg, Virginia, and approximately eight miles from Dulles International Airport. The property contains 281 acres located between the Potomac River on the north and Virginia Route 7 on the south. The property includes a Normandy-style manor house and an adjacent carriage house that are both listed on the National Historic Register.
  • New Construction: Campus activities will be housed primarily in about 750,000 gross square feet of new facilities. Construction is expected to begin in 2003 and to be completed early in 2006.
  • Research Facilities: The initial construction will provide laboratories for a research staff of 200-to-300 persons. In addition, laboratory and other facilities will be built for visiting researchers, core scientific support resources and for administration.
  • Outreach Activities: Dissemination of information and technology to the broad scientific community will be an important feature of Janelia Farm activities. Educational activities extending to K-12 students and teachers are under consideration for the future.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist for whom it is named. Its principal purpose is the conduct of basic biomedical research, which it carries out in collaboration with more than 70 universities, medical centers and other research institutions throughout the United States. Its more than 320 investigators work at these institutions in Hughes laboratories; the scientific staff of HHMI numbers more than 3,000. The Institute also has a philanthropic grants program of approximately $100 million per year, which it devotes to science education and training, from elementary school through graduate and medical school. It also supports the work of biomedical researchers in many countries throughout the world.

HHMI is one of the largest philanthropies in the world, with an endowment of more than $11 billion and a budget that is approximately $650 million in the current fiscal year. Its headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

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Jim Keeley 301.215.8858