You might not anticipate major scientific innovation in Long Island City, better known for its arts and culture scene. Just a couple blocks from MoMA PS1, however, a recently completed lab facility designed by Perkins&Will marks a notable development in the area’s burgeoning life sciences industry. Innolabs, a 25,000-square-metre adaptive re-use project, faces the street boldly and creates a striking counterpoint to the historic neighbourhood. A slender black steel and glass addition provides a muscular contrast to the white historic facade of the original structure, driving home the former office building’s unexpected second life.

Alongside a lobby café, the Innolabs science building designed by Perkins&Will includes bike storage, locker rooms and more.

“There are two compelling reasons why adaptive re-use of older buildings is viable for labs —…

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