The Visitor Reception Building and Entrances are a key component of the transformation of Novartis’ North American Headquarters, presenting a dynamic new gateway to the campus. As part of a comprehensive master plan by Vittorio Lampugnani which includes buildings by Rafael Viñoly and Fumihiko Maki, the building emerges from the earth and includes a sequence of reception, orientation, and gathering spaces for the campus.
Situated along the perimeter of the campus, the Visitor Reception provides a legible point of arrival, creating an interface between public and private, open and secure, and landscape and architecture. Sited within a new campus landscape designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the building slips laterally into the campus’ perimeter fence to provide a secure, yet welcoming passage to receive guests. From there, a shuttle runs a connective loop through the campus, unifying the pedestrian landscape.
The pavilion is perched beneath a split wing roof canopy that vaults above an enclosure of structural glass. The sculptural roof form is articulated with a pleated ceiling and steel superstructure. Certified LEED Gold, a curtain wall with low-E coated insulated glazing units works in collaboration with extended roof eaves to maximize natural illumination and views across campus while providing shade.
Portions of the east and west façades of the building are embedded into the earth to utilize the landscape’s natural insulating attributes to reduce energy consumption. A solar canopy at the parking area provides enough energy for the building to meet its ‘energy neutral’ production goal. A new legible gateway to the campus, the Visitor Reception embodies the spirit of technological innovation and sustainable vision of this innovative research institution.