Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Patscentre

Date
1982-1985

Client
PA Management Consultants Ltd

Location
Princeton, NJ, USA

Site Area
7 500 m²

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Overview

PA Technology recommissioned Richard Rogers Partnership to design their American research base, on a new industrial park close to the university town of Princeton. The assisted-span tension structure derived from the similar solutions used at Fleetguard and the INMOS factory and the plan closely resembles that of INMOS, with a central spine/arcade on an A-frame which provides circulation, staff restaurant and other services and is flanked by the working spaces, in this case laboratories and offices.

While INMOS had required a very high degree of servicing, PA Technology Princeton produced a less-demanding servicing requirement – the exposed structure, while entirely functional, is equally symbolic and expressive of the image of the company. (The client had specifically demanded a scheme which reflected PA’s innovative approach.) Ducting and air-conditioning plant is boldly exposed. Services are equally frankly expressed inside the building.

The building was designed for prefabrication off-site and rapid erection. The cladding is carefully considered to provide diffused light through translucent panels, with a strip of clear glass offering views out. In theory, this is a ‘kit-of-parts’ building which could be replicated. In practice, it is a well-crafted custom-made landmark, like the Pompidou Centre or Lloyd’s. RRP’s long line of industrial research building expresses the tension between mass production and expressive individuality which is at the core of the practice’s work.

Like its precedent INMOS, the desire was for internal spaces free of columns with scope for rearrangement and expansion. In addition, the use of translucent cladding provides a remarkable quality of daylight, while at night the building glows gently.

Data

Key Facts

Awards

1977RIBA Regional Award
1976Financial Times Industrial Architecture Award

Date
1982-1985

Client
PA Management Consultants Ltd

Location
Princeton, NJ, USA

Area
Site Area
7 500 m²

Co-Architect
Kelbaugh and Lee Architects

Structural Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners / Robert Silman Associates

Services Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners / Syska and Hennessy Inc

Quantity Surveyor
GA Hanscomb Partnership / GA Hanscomb Associates Inc

Team

Ram Ahronov

Pierre Botschi

Mike Davies

Marco Goldschmied

John McAslan

Gennaro Picardi

Richard Rogers

John Young

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