The Frick Chemistry Laboratory at Princeton University was designed to be a state-of-the-science facility for academic chemistry research and teaching. The building supports the expanding focus of research for the department in chemical biology, energy, catalysis and chemical synthesis and materials, with the goal to achieve advancement into the top chemistry programs in the country. The design of the laboratory casework supports ever-changing needs and demands of the cutting-edge research of the building’s occupants.
Less than half of the laboratory space was assigned by the completion of the Construction Documents. The remainder of the building was to be fitted out for the specific research needs of subsequently recruited faculty members. Accordingly, adaptability and flexibility of the laboratories was essential to the design approach. Generic laboratories were designed to the identified disciplines anticipated for faculty recruitment. Since the inception of construction, a significant percentage of the laboratories have been adapted to the specific research of new faculty members. This is achieved through the rigorous modularity of the laboratory design: flexible laboratory casework and fume hoods along with a modular and easily accessible systems infrastructure. The 12’- 3” high laboratory ceilings allows natural light to penetrate deeply into the lab, while providing access to the exposed systems.
Custom laboratory casework provided by ThermoFisher Scientific features adjustable height metal bench frames supporting epoxy resin laboratory tops. Modular maple veneer wood casework units are arranged below the bench and anchored in place. These components can be easily detached and reconfigured to adapt to changes in research. A customized approach to pre-piped and pre-wired bench frames integrate increased systems and electrical infrastructure at island locations. These flexible units are docked to fixed sink base units that are organized along and interconnected with the carefully placed linear piped utility rack system.
Thanks to the extensive flexibility of the lab casework design, compatible research can be assigned on a bench-by-bench basis within each zone, allowing flexibility for changes in research group size as driven by funding support.