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Biotrial NA opens 70,000-sq.ft. HQ in Newark, NJ and wins NJ AIA Merit Award

The eastern facade of the Biotrial building. Photo: Chris Cooper

The eastern facade of the Biotrial building. Photo: Chris Cooper

French contract research company Biotrial’s North American headquarters, designed by Francis Cauffman, celebrated its ribbon cutting in Newark, New Jersey’s University Heights Science & Technology Park (UHSTP). The 70,000-sq.-ft. building is strategically located in the Park, an urban redevelopment initiative uniting five universities and other biomedical organizations. The high quality of the building’s design, which expresses Biotrial’s mission, has raised the bar for this redevelopment neighborhood, adding jobs and stimulating growth. Further, Francis Caufmann has been honored with a Merit Award for Built Projects from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey, as part of its 2016 Design Awards.

“Francis Cauffman has a great team that collaborated closely with Biotrial to understand their work and their specific needs for this building,” said James Crispino, president of Francis Cauffman. “Our building embodies Biotrial’s culture and seamlessly integrates it into the urban fabric of Newark.

“We are delighted to have created Biotrial’s building,” said Crispino. “By investing ourselves in a deep understanding of their work, we designed a building that advances the mission of Biotrial and of its clients, and reflects the company’s values. The headquarters embodies the high quality of Biotrial’s professional service, and the enduring relationships that they build with their clients.”

Biotrial’s design communicates transparency

Francis Cauffman designed the building as two interlocking planes, whose materials reflect Biotrial’s values. The rear, private façade is solid black brick with matching mortar, which gives a sense of strength and solidity. In contrast, the front is a fritted glass curtain wall, communicating openness and transparency. The fritting creates movement as the light passes through, while also providing privacy. Inspired by the nature of Biotrial’s work, the designers created a ribbon of metal, suggestive of the fluidity of chemistry, to tie the two planes together. The ribbon forms an entrance canopy on the private side, moves through the building as the lobby ceiling, and reemerges on the public side to create a frame for the vestibule and finally the canopy for services.

Natural light penetrates deeply into the interior through the glass, and through asymmetrical ribbon windows in the brick façade. Inside, the building contains a laboratory, pharmacy, and clinical facilities including a 100-bed unit to conduct trials, corporate and volunteer recruitment office, a café, library, lounge, and gardens.

Francis Cauffman’s team included: Buro Happold (Building Systems Engineer); Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineer); Sciame (Construction Manager, Cost Estimator); David Langdon (Cost Estimator); Langan Engineering Services (Site Civil, Traffic, and Landscape Architect); Genova Burns Giantomasi & Webster (Land Use Attorney), Joseph A. Natoli Construction Inc. (General Contractor).

UHTSP welcomes the new neighbor and collaborator

“We are very pleased to have Biotrial as a corporate neighbor in the University Heights Science and Technology Park,” said Joel Bloom, President of NJIT, and Chair of the UHSTP Board. “The company’s decision to locate in the heart of our community speaks directly to the upward trajectory of Newark as a ‘smart city’ as well as Newark’s higher education community of 55,000 college students, staff, and faculty. The Park is currently comprised of NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center and its 90 incubator companies, The International Center for Public Health and the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory of the New Jersey Medical School of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences University. There are numerous opportunities for collaboration with Biotrial within the park and across the higher education institutions. I extend on behalf of the university community and my board colleagues our congratulations on the successful first year in the Park.”

“The opening of Biotrial in the United States is the natural evolution of the company after more than 25 years in business,” said Jean-Marc Gandon, CEO of Biotrial. “With these facilities, designed to meet our specific clinical research needs, and the great potential for collaboration with our eminent neighboring institutions, we will be able to provide cutting-edge services in the U.S. to our pharmaceutical clients.”