The new Hillside Campus consists of six laboratory buildings that expand by 40 percent the institution’s capacity to conduct research in the areas of cancer, neuroscience, human genetics, and quantitative biology. The design concept extends the “Village for Science” approach, which has allowed the entire 110-acre site to mesh neatly with its environs, a wooded slope and a well preserved town that once was a whaling port.

The research buildings frame a multi-level courtyard that forms a grand entrance and pathway to a future hilltop campus. Stairways and plazas between the laboratories provide opportunities for informal meetings and conversations. The buildings are connected internally on their lower levels to allow easy communication and interaction among scientists. Explaining why a visitor might have trouble identifying the new 100,000-square-foot campus, a New York Times reviewer wrote, “An architectural sleight of hand has disguised the new labs as a miniature Bavarian hilltop village,” a feat that the neighbors also appreciate.

The Hillside Campus saves 40 percent of the energy normally required for similar laboratories. This savings is achieved through simple conservation strategies: locating services below grade, reducing the size of lobbies, substantial perimeter insulation, limiting glass expanses, low light levels to maintain the residential village character, and using room-by-room fan coil units to minimize ventilation demands. The laboratory spaces are simple, column-free boxes so they are easily adapted to continual change. Building materials and details were selected to age gracefully.

The design of Hillside Campus was recognized by an AIA Connecticut award in 2011. Since the 1970s, Centerbrook has designed dozens of new buildings at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, as well as renovations for more than a dozen other facilities. The campus is listed on the National Historic Register.

Photography © Jeff Goldberg/Esto