Our primary goal is to build an environment which enhances creativity in chemical informatics development. Since we "live by our wits", the concept is pretty straightforward: if we continue to produce innovative software, we win; if not we lose. Although the goal of building a creativity-optimized environment is a "no-brainer", figuring out how to actually implement it is not so simple. Some elements: lots of space and art, places to talk both informally and formally, room to walk and juggle, excessively capable computer and communication resources, a comfortable guest suite for visiting scientists.
We have elected to convert an existing building in Tesuque, New Mexico, a town just north of Santa Fe. The building is a 5000 SF passive solar structure which was built in 1984 as an art gallery. It sits on 1.2 acres of a 10 acre outdoor sculpture garden. The structure itself is an extremely efficient subterranian design, with 17' ceilings, a 100' clerstory and large south-facing glass walls. Here are some photos of the existing structure and site:
The interior will be completely gutted and remodeled to optimize working and creative spaces. The most notable design element is a large central plaza which will provide areas for our document collection, shared equipment, informal meetings (and juggling!) Uninterruptible power and communications will be delivered though in-floor raceways. Along with offices, we finally get a purpose-built machine room, conference room (with aquaria and videoconferencing ;->), indoor and outdoor lunch areas, a loading area and garage (with electric vehicle recharger) and a guest suite that's more like a home than a hotel (with a full kitchen, laundry and private patio). Here's the floorplan:
The parking lot is currently designed for 150 cars which is about 20X more than we need. We're planning on lining-out about 30 spaces and converting the rest to a wide-spaced orchard suitable for occasional parking. Here's a neat twist: we've made an informal deal with the Shidoni gallery to allow them to use this area for overflow and weekend parking in return for the use of their corporate-owned sculptures in and around our offices. Note that the floorplan is designed to allow forklift access just about everywhere -- that's not just for computers -- anything that fits on a forklift and is less than 15' (4m) high will fit.
Should be fun!