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"I love the natural light."

"I feel happy when I'm in the building,"

"I work on campus more often now."

Music to our ears, these are comments from occupants of the new Bass Biology Building on Sanford's world-famous campus. In addition to planning the labs, offices and interiors to have maximum access to natural light, Stanford had a focused lens on placemaking within the building and throughout the site and were highly receptive to integrating art throughout the project.

 

Inspired by the unexpected beauty connected to scientific tools, such as glass slides and the refracted light of glass lenses, there are many layered vistas of color and light throughout the building.

 

Our approach was to create a fresh, yet timeless canvas as a backdrop for the placemaking moment . A palette of tonal colors were used on each floor to mirror the layered effect of nature's colors, while also providing intuitive wayfinding. Lighting became an active participant in the story of the building; washing quietly in focused areas and becoming organic formations when passing through gathering areas.  

To achieve what was to be expressed at these special moments, a storytelling team was formed. between Stanford, Flad and Anderson Krygier.  We dove deep with a select band of highly engaged biology researchers and artists to create a range of artistic place-making moments within our planned community locations, such as the lobby, stair, lab entries, bridges and terrace. This was a unique, passionate and high-caliber collaboration that took us into unexpected creative places and it was a joy to be a part of this team. 

Our installation contribution was the Wooly Ball Stair Garden, which was designed to be a joyful, interactive and ever-changing tactile piece. Inspired by the stones one would discover along a river's shore, this garden was created with a range of colorful, dyed, natural felted wool spheres and intended to be complimentary to the circular fractal graphic expanding its way up the stair.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

New 4-story academic building interior consisting of a variety of research labs, offices, indoor and outdoor community spaces, and art installation.

Located within Stanford University's campus in Palo Alto, CA

ROLE

While with Flad Architects:

Lead Interior Design

Lead FF&E design

Lead Art Installation, central stair

Storytelling team member

CREDITS

Wooly Ball Stair Garden: Created in collaboration with Stephen Pond, Ian Grossman & Parisa Navidi

Wooly Ball Fabrication: Judy Ricci, Wooly Doodles Fiber Art

Graphic Design and Art Storytelling: Anderson Krygier

Professional Photography: Tim Zimmerman