S4-Labor Abu Dhabi
A strategic key aim of the health authority in Abu Dhabi is to secure and strengthen the health system to be able to fight and to prevent large outbreaks of infectious diseases and epidemics in the country. To this end a laboratory is to be developed at the highest BSL-4 safety level, uniting research, diagnosis, monitoring and training within the framework of a single humanbiology institute. The newly built complex is to be developed on a safeguarded site measuring circa 4.3 hectares. The overall area of the institute occupies around 25,000 square metres of gross floor space, accommodated in a circular shaped building. Whereas the public functions such as the media library, conference centre, prayer rooms and a canteen are located on the ground floor, the safety laboratories and office areas are arranged in unison on a single level on the first storey, thereby enabling a highly flexible combination of working groups according to needs and the medical situation.
This kind of configuration of the sectors in relation to each other provides optimal conditions for short routes and efficient processes, while shared work areas create synergies. The high safety requirements are guaranteed by means of an access-control system, based on an onion-layer principle. With its intricate, floating exterior facade, the iconic shape of the building is an interpretation of the traditional mashrabiya, a decorative wooden latticework in Islamic architecture. The façade consists of a grid that progresses from the open to the closed areas. The end result is an architecture that combines high transparency and flexibility whilst nevertheless meeting all the requirements of a highsafety laboratory via an elaborated sluice and access systems.
Weber & Partner (MEP), eretec (Laboratory design), BEAD Architects and Engineers (Structural engineering)