The WELL Living Lab, a collaboration between Delos, Mayo Clinic and Sino Ocean Group, is an innovative research facility combining building science with health and behavioral sciences. As such, the lab’s interior spaces mimic residential and office settings to provide controlled areas for testing. The goal is to see how improvements to indoor environments can benefit human health, wellness, comfort and performance
Leading the design on the space, Superimpose Architecture was tasked with ensuring that the finished project would be able to qualify for WELL and LEED certification. In addition, special emphasis was placed on using low-tech solutions in order to create adaptable environments for research.
The WELL Living Lab is About Improving Health and Wellbeing in Built Environments
In order to facilitate a reconfigurable layout that would allow for different experiment conditions, Superimpose designed many of the building elements (i.e. the canopies, the building core, the rooftop lab) to function as their own individual elements in isolation. The result is a ‘plug-in’ massing concept that helps define the building.
For instance, the façade has been designed as a cassette system to allow for adaptability whilst maintaining a strong and recognizable architectural feature that fits into Shunyi’s industrial context. Internal blinds, external blinds and electrochromic glass for an on-demand variety of shading and glass colour are then integrated within these façade cassettes.
The entrance canopy offers shelter and provides an entrance gesture, directly connecting to the outdoor staircase whilst allowing for daylight to reach the ground floor. On the rooftop, there is a fully rotatable laboratory for comprehensive sunlight related research, together with a rooftop-farm to promote nourishment and a sense of participation.
The building core, meanwhile, situates MEP spaces, shafts, washrooms with access to natural daylight. The lift is discreetly hidden as Superimpose opposed to the idea of having it as the main vehicle for vertical circulation. Instead the otherwise dark and hidden escape staircases become the red iconic highlight of the building promoting physical exercise and social interaction.
By designing the WELL Living Lab in such a way that it reflects and adapts the WELL standards in the simplest and most effective way, Superimpose aims to contribute and facilitate improving health and wellbeing for future office and residential developments in China and beyond.