The central atrium of the National Cancer Institute's newest facility.

Science Scheme

The National Cancer Institute's bold new Advanced Technology Research Facility

The National Cancer Institute’s bold new Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) resides on the Riverside Research Park campus in Frederick, Maryland. Designed by HDR Architecture, Inc., the contemporary, 380,000-square-foot complex comprises five state-of-the-art, Green Globe-certified buildings where employees implement advanced technologies and support research, development and testing initiatives.

The mission was to create a space conducive to communication and collaboration. Building E (pictured here), with interiors fitted out by HDR, illustrates the openness theme with a central atrium and circulation spine that leads to other structures. The atrium houses a data center and supports the research needs of 1,200 scientists; it also contains administrative offices, conference and seminar space, an auditorium, a fitness center, staff dining areas and more. A wall of windows emphasizes daylighting and a connection to the outdoors. “We were asked to come up with a design that would represent where they are headed,” says HDR’s regional director, Stephen Blair. “We created a building that would be the new face of the National Cancer Institute.” 

ARCHITECTURE: STEPHEN J. BLAIR, PE, LEED AP, project director; CHRISTINE MAHER, AIA; SUSANA KYRGOS, Associate AIA, HDR Architecture, Bethesda, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: John C. Grimberg Company, Inc., Rockville, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: PAUL BURK.