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BRB at a Glance
The new Broadway Research Building, on the southeast corner of Broadway and Madison Street, provides space for state-of-the-art research laboratories for biomedical research, an animal facility and School of Medicine administrative offices.

Architects: Payette Associates
Project size: 372,000 gross square feet
Location: 733 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205
Construction manager: Turner Construction Company
Owner's Representative: John E. Grinnalds, senior director, SOM Facilities Management
Project manager:
Michael J. Dausch, director, SOM Design & Construction
Faculty liaison: Chi Van Dang, vice dean for research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open for Business on Broadway
Pinpointing, geographically speaking, the amorphous and far-flung School of Medicine has always been problematic. But now that the $140 million Broadway Research Building, under construction for the past three years, is nearly complete, the School has a bonafide front door at 733 N. Broadway.


With its entrance on Broadway, near the corner of Madison Street, the Broadway Research Building serves as a gateway to the School of Medicine.
 
Manufactured in Sweden, this robot in the Animal Facility, dubbed "Lars," can grab four dirty cages off a pallet, swing them around, dump out soiled bedding, and set the cages on a conveyor belt. After the cages go through a gigantic washing machine, another robot, "Inga," positions them so that they can be filled with clean bedding (it's stored on the ground floor and purchased in 850-pound bulk) and places them back on clean pallets.
A river of wires serving the mechanical and electrical systems in the interstitial space above the Animal Facility.
View from an unfinished conference room on the top floor.
Six floors of biomedical research labs, totaling 119,300 square feet of real working space, have mechanical and electrical systems designed to provide for safety and energy efficiency. Each lab has been configured with equipment and utility requirements unique to each researcher. Benches are equipped with phones, data and power. Cabinets and drawers can slide from side to side so that researchers can create knee space where they want it.
Ground level corridor, seen from Level One, near the Registrar's Office.

 

The BRB is home to the Institute of Cell Engineering, Institute of Genetic Medicine and laboratory programs in Comparative Medicine, Medicine and Basic Sciences. There are also several key core facilities, such as the vivarium (rodent housing), a Microarray facility and the Proteomics Center. "The building brings to life the interdisciplinary approach, as illustrated by the institutes which are based here," says Chi Van Dang, who as vice dean for research has been involved with the project from the start. "In bringing together for the first time these interdisciplinary programs and core facilities, the Broadway Research Building introduces a whole new period for Hopkins."

As seen from the north, along Madison Street, the building is unremarkable, but its south facade has an interesting "stepped wedge" shape. The wedge allows for a landscaped space which leads back and up toward what is known as "The Object," a sort of glass box, which houses a coffee shop and a faculty lounge and which links the BRB to the Ross Building at the third floor level.

Just off Broadway, between the BRB and the Kennedy-Krieger Institute, a circular drive leads to a drop-off and the ground-level entrance. The Admissions Office, seminar rooms for the School and for continuing medical education programs, and the offices of the Clinical Practice Association are located on this level and connected to ground-floor space in Traylor/Turner/Ross. Up a flight of stairs, to Level One, the offices of the Registrar, Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Research Administration, the five School of Medicine vice deans and the Business Office connect to the dean's suite in the Traylor Building. These offices moved in last month. Making the move in December and January are the offices of the general counsel and Hospital/Health System president.

In all, 31 principal investigators will move their labs onto levels three through eight. On each of these floors, state-of-the-art laboratories line the north side and center of the building; suites of offices for researchers, administrators and staff, the south. Conference rooms are situated on the east and west ends of the building.

Below ground is the 50,250-square-foot, state-of-the-art rodent facility, or vivarium. It is so big that it covers more than one acre, and its main east-west hallway is the length of a football field. Practically everything-heat, ventilation, water, lights-is controlled and monitored by computer, and the measures taken to insure that the animals are disease-free have been remarkable. In fact, all during construction, the joke has been: Human patients should be so lucky.

With the air and water scrupulously purified, each cage is like a mini-ICU. Red glass in the vivarium's doors prevents hallway light from disturbing the animals' circadian rhythms. The rodents are handled under biosafety cabinets or in portable HEPA-filtered changing stations by people wearing, at a minimum, booties, gloves, and disposable, sterile gowns. And just to make sure the facility is entirely safe, 12 breeding pairs of laboratory mice were brought in to prove they could breed, deliver and raise healthy young there.

Cages are cleaned by two big industrial robots, not unlike those used to make automobiles. Previously, says Robert Adams, director of Animal Services, "up to 1,000 pounds of soiled bedding had to be scraped out of cages, bagged and taken to a dumpster everyday. It's the worst possible job. We are automating it so that people can spend their time taking care of the animals."

The Broadway Research Building does introduce a new era, and not just in the interdisciplinary approach that Dang describes. Its completion also signals an intense period of expansion on campus, one that is just beginning.

 

 

 

To the Waterfront

Recent months have meant relocations not just for the faculty and staff moving into the Broadway Research Building but also for dozens more Hopkins employees. But these folks are not moving in, they're moving off-off campus, that is. Johns Hopkins Health System's Finance Department (about 60 employees) has moved to the Mason F. Lord Building at Bayview. Others, however, are gravitating southward, to Fells Point.

On Aug. 22, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Corporate Communications (formerly the Office of Communications and Public Affairs) moved out of the 550 Building and took up residence at Bond Street Wharf, a new office building at the foot of Bond Street, part of a mixed-use development that encompasses a park, restaurants, residences, retail and a 760-car garage. The former Office of Consumer Health Information (now part of OCC) and the Kimmel Cancer Center Communications Office made the move as well.

By all accounts, OCC employees love their spacious, new waterfront digs. But enthusiasm is tempered by the inconvenience of being located off campus. To ease the separation anxiety, a shuttle runs back and forth to the East Baltimore campus, and OCC maintains satellite space there.

OCC isn't the only Johns Hopkins office slated for Bond Street Wharf. Early this month, Access Services, a group of about 70 employees who handle much of the registration and appointment scheduling and financial clearance for Johns Hopkins Medicine, will move there from the Outpatient Center. Next month, the office of Strategic Planning and Market Research (formerly Planning and Marketing) will move 24 people in. And in early December, the University's Offices of Government, Community and Public Affairs, now based on the Homewood campus, nearly 70 people, will move there as well.

That, plus a couple of small offices (Adult Critical Care and the Oncology Center Registry) also moving into the building, adds up to more than 200 Hopkins employees who soon will be based in Fells Point, and that's not counting the 130 people at nearby Brown's Wharf (1615 Thames Street) who work for the University-affiliated JHPEIGO, or those based in the area in a few offices run by the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Epidemiology.

For 300 years, people have been settling in Fells Point; now Hopkins is putting a few roots of its own down on those historic, cobblestone streets.

 

 

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