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News Release

The Scripps Research Institute Dedicates New, State-of-the-Art Chemistry Facility on its Torrey Pines Campus

April 24, 1996, La Jolla, CA -- The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences, a 165,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art research facility will be formally dedicated in a ceremony tomorrow on the campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). According to Senior Vice President William H. Beers, Ph.D., "The Beckman Center is the most sophisticated laboratory facility ever built at TSRI, designed to promote collaboration and interaction among the scientists, and engineered for maximum efficiency and flexibility. We are confident that the environment created here will be conducive to the discovery of important research findings that will be of benefit to the public now and to future generations."

Built at a cost of approximately $56 million, the seven-story, cast-in-concrete structure will house 40 state-of-the-art research laboratories, technologically advanced equipment and instrumentation, and conference rooms. More than 400 TSRI scientists will move their laboratories to the new facility. Through their collaborative efforts, The Beckman Center will enable the Institute to maximize one of the world's premier programs in molecular design, chemical synthesis and bio-organic chemistry.

Designed by local architecture firm Tucker/Sadler and Associates, the facility was constructed by Rudolph & Sletten, Inc., California's largest provider of biotechnology construction. With five stories of laboratory space and a large, open, central atrium that will serve as an informal meeting space for researchers, the Center's principle features include:

  • an unobstructed view from the atrium floor to the building's rooftop skylights, 93 feet up.
  • modular laboratory planning that will support a system of maximum flexibility.
  • mechanical and electrical support equipment in the two-story basement.
  • a highly sophisticated variable air volume laboratory control system.
  • energy efficient mechanical systems.
  • a 150-seat classroom with rear-screen projection.
  • conference rooms on each floor overlooking the atrium.
  • suspended bridges adjoining opposite sides of the third and fourth floors.

Allowing the existing Scripps campus to dictate the construction, the cast-in-place concrete structure is built onto rolling ground, necessitating the variance of a 16-foot cut on one side of the hill on which it is located to 25 feet on the other. Because of seismic regulations, The Center was built a mere five inches away from the Stein Center for Clinical Research, immediately to its north. With the Center adjoined to the older building by ramps, the arrangement enables TSRI to get the "highest and best use" from both facilities, according to Dr. Beers.

Seismic information drawn both from the Bay Area earthquake of 1989 and the Northridge temblor of 1994 was factored into the Beckman Center's construction. "Everything we learned from those seismic activities -- even the failures of freeways and bridges -- has been incorporated into the building's construction," said Rudolph & Sletten project manager, Greg Palmer.

The Center is named in recognition of the generosity of Arnold and Mabel Beckman. Dr. Beckman, the 96-year-old founder of Beckman Instruments, is recognized worldwide as a scientist, inventor, philanthropist, and business and civic leader. Also, several hundred other donors and friends of TSRI contributed to the construction of the facility.

For more information contact:
Office of Communications
10550 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, California 92037