University of North Carolina Genome Science Building

Chapel Hill, North Carolina / United States of America

The 210,000 square-feet concrete and glass Genome Science Building is home to the University of North Carolina’s interdisciplinary genomic sciences. Completed in September 2012, the building fosters collaboration through its shared lab, work, learning, and social spaces. Its upper floors house a research greenhouse, wet and dry laboratories, and support services. Three research lab “pods”—that can be shared by up to 30 people—are configured to maximize interaction; food and informal gathering places are strategically placed at points of “collision.” The pods are lifted above a porous plaza level containing glass enclosed core labs, seminar rooms, and a new café. The GSB’s lower levels provide teaching facilities, linking the research above with undergraduate teaching for the entire university below. The building’s use of exposed concrete introduces contemporary design into UNC’s traditional Georgian campus architecture. The concrete structural walls that frame and support the building’s research laboratories are visible through—and contrast with—its glass membrane as it passes from the interior to the exterior. Inside, the material creates an elegant, warm finish, providing clarity of structure and a timeless framework of adaptable spaces. The GSB earned a LEED Gold rating thanks to a suite of integrated sustainable features.

Architect of Record

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP


University of North Carolina

General Contractor

Bovis Lend Lease/Clancy & Theys