The New York Botanical Garden
Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory

Bronx, New York

The Pfizer Research Laboratory is the third in the series of projects undertaken by Polshek Partnership Architects at the New York Botanical Garden. Damyanti was privileged to participate in all these, starting with International Plant Science Center that included an Herbarium, in a new environmentally controlled safe depository for the Garden’s collection of plant specimens in a new building – expansion of the existing historical Museum Building, and Library within the existing Museum Building. Damyanti developed program for the laboratory in conversations and interviews with the scientists working at the Garden. She managed the project team collaborating with laboratory and engineering consultants through out the design and construction of the project. The selection of materials responded to the context of the project – proximity to the International Plant Science Center and the historic Museum Building. Use of precast concrete panels provided elegant façade punctuated by glass curtainwall making vital connection to the nature outside.

This state-of-the-art multidisciplinary laboratory facility is situated within the scientific precinct of the New York Botanical Garden’s 250-acre campus. Damyanti’s role in the project was to lead as an Associate Partner in Charge of the project.

A crisp rectilinear form is cantilevered on all sides from a central core. The laboratory appears to visually hover above the ground plane, allowing the landscape to flow beneath. Its organization encourages interaction among Garden scientists, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers: flexible laboratory modules overlooking views to the landscape and the twin lakes, along with conference facilities and meeting areas, are used for teaching as well as for formal and informal gatherings. A floor to ceiling glass curtain wall, running the length of the laboratory, blurs the distinction between interior and exterior to visually extend the laboratory beyond the walls of the building. The complex program includes facilities for such diverse analytic approaches as molecular analysis, DNA sequencing, and comparative genomic research.