Renowned for creating inspiring, state-of-the-art laboratories and scientific research environments, the architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals + Partners has announced the completion of the first phase of a new headquarters for protein sequencing company Quantum-Si in Branford, Connecticut. The new research laboratory and modern workplace, which will soon consolidate two prior facilities into a single, technologically advanced research base, welcomes scientists and diverse employees in a warm, inviting setting that merges the firm’s technical edge and crisp style with engaging art, branding and collaborative work opportunities.
The multidisciplinary team at Svigals + Partners worked to create the highly efficient, comfortable headquarters to meet all of Quantum-Si’s needs, following a programming exercise and prior test-fit for the client in a different location. When fully built out, the design firm’s work will extend to even more workspaces and dedicated facilities for employee training, storage and warehouse areas.
With a portfolio developed over 40 years, Svigals + Partners drew from a well-honed process to envision the home base for Quantum-Si’s team of scientists, researchers, engineers and other staff. With this phase completed, nearly 20,000 square feet of space in the low-key, business park setting is opened to create the bright work setting, including common areas, private offices and touchdown spaces. Accommodating sensitive, cutting-edge equipment for both wet and dry laboratories, the new headquarters offers a springboard for Quantum-Si’s anticipated growth trajectory and its core system, Platinum, the world’s first next-generation single-molecule protein sequencing platform.
The open interiors present the Quantum-Si team with a healthy, easy-to-adapt environment equipped with key conveniences and safety features, from flexible lab benches and adjustable lighting systems to highly efficient fume hoods and mechanical systems. Highlights include an instrument farm – a showpiece workspace of over 60 devices used in their research – as well as a microscope room, machine shop and clean room for the company’s laser team. Other enclosed zones accommodate specialized areas for robotics and tissue culture work. Drawing employees and scientists into the 10,000 square feet of lab and research space are magnetic work and collaboration zones; the glass walls surrounding the instrument farm, for example, are punctuated by vertical slats of light- and dark-toned wood, adding dynamism for occupants arriving via an adjacent corridor.
For both employees and visiting customers and partners, the headquarters is designed to establish the company firmly in the tech-heavy region, as well as to showcase their unparalleled technology. “Centralizing the instrument farm in such a highly viewable location makes it a real centerpiece of both Quantum-Si’s operation as well as whole headquarters experience,” said Alana Konefal, AIA, associate principal with Svigals + Partners. “Visitors entering into the main reception area, and those elsewhere in the headquarters, instantly recognize the importance of that technology hub, bringing Quantum-Si’s innovation story forward to connect visually with everyone who visits.”
Showcasing a Technology-Driven Brand
Crisp and clean design elements enhance the sophisticated lab and research environments as well as new enclosed offices and varied collaboration zones, including phone booths, conference rooms and common areas. Svigals + Partners introduced wood-look elements as a refreshing counterpoint to the company’s geometric, white-on-black brand motif – seen first on a wall panel behind the reception console. Overhead, a plane of wood with linear light fixtures hangs below the facility’s white-painted exposed ceiling, while a lively graphic of gradient purple and blue zigzags along the central corridor that separates office and lab zones.
The theme extends through other circulation areas as well as a break room, game room and new restrooms, complementing Quantum-Si’s crisp, geometric brand identity with cool grey, blue and white hues as well as metallic finishes accented by wood tones. In the collaboration zones, horizontal acoustic blades in dark finishes hang from the exposed ceiling, adding eye-catching interest. The tech-inspired, hospitable aesthetic enhances Quantum-Si’s graphics in shared areas, with such memorable flourishes as a trellis-like, wood-hued grid overhead in the break room. Perimeter offices and other destination zones take advantage of all available windows, brightening the workspaces with natural daylight.
“Our ongoing communications with the client’s facilities team was essential in maintaining the project’s tight schedule, and it’s a real reward to see inspired scientists and researchers working comfortably in their new headquarters,” said Svigals + Partners Director of Interior Design Katherine Berger, NCIDQ, WELL AP. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Quantum-Si as they expand further with future phases of their new headquarters.”
“Our new headquarters reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to job opportunities and innovation alongside the local community,” Quantum-Si Chief Executive Officer Jeff Hawkins said at the company’s recent ribbon-cutting. “We believe New Haven County is the perfect strategic location to attract world-class scientific talent as we seek to grow our teams. We look forward to leading the expansion of the life sciences industry in Connecticut.”