International design award for innovative Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science’s building goes to designers


April 3rd, 2014 

The celebration of the completion of the new campus for Bigelow Laboratories, center of oceanic research, in Boothby

The celebration of the completion of the new campus for Bigelow Laboratories, center of oceanic research, in Boothby whose designers won prestigious award- courtesy photo

 Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science’s new LEED platinum building captured an Honorable Mention in R&D Magazine’s 48th Laboratory of the Year Awards. Designed by Perkins+Will and WBRC Architects and Engineers, this was one of only four projects from around the world to be honored.The award will be presented at the 2014 Laboratory Design Conference on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at the Westin Waltham Boston Hotel in Massachusetts.

This annual international competition recognizes excellence in laboratory design, planning and construction from the best new and renovated laboratories. Bigelow Laboratory’s open, airy design on a hill overlooking the Damariscotta River in East Boothbay, Maine joins an impressive field of excellence in design.

“We’ve been in the laboratory now for a little over a year and it has exceeded our expectations,” said Graham Shimmield, executive director of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.  “The space is highly functional, energy efficient, and provides for a fantastic integrated work environment with state-of-the-art facilities. Perkins+ Will also took full advantage of the Laboratory’s location, providing inspiring water views for our ocean researchers.”

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado was selected as laboratory of the year. Penn State University Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advanced Biological Studies in University Park, Pennsylvania and Washington State University, SRG Veterinary and Biomedical Research Building in Pullman, Washington received High Honors.

“Bigelow researchers are unraveling the complex relationships between our oceans and the role they play in the overall health of our planet. All of us on the design team committed ourselves to creating uniquely-effective buildings and spaces that would inspire the scientists, enhance collaborations and help accelerate all aspects of the discovery process,” said Gary Shaw, project principal with Perkins+Will.

A blue ribbon panel of architects, engineers, equipment suppliers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine, Laboratory Design newsletter and co-sponsor SEFA judged this year’s competition. Judging was performed in the offices of Advantage Business Media in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, Thursday, February 20, 2014.  Award winners will be written up in the June 2014 issue of R&D Magazine. Information on the 2014 Lab Design Conference program is available

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography to large-scale ocean processes that affect the global environment. Recognized as a leader in Maine’s emerging innovation economy, the Laboratory’s research, education, and technology transfer programs are spurring significant economic growth in the state. For more information, visit

The project was managed by Perkins+Will’s Boston office in partnership with WBRC of Bangor Maine. Located in the heart of downtown Boston and serving clients throughout New England and beyond, Perkins+Will’s Boston practice is anchored in their ability to unite existing context with transformative design. They design for the future “sustainability and flexibly” while honoring the cultural and physical context each project’s location. They are known for their design ingenuity, technical expertise, and unswerving commitment to their clients, including Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, MIT, Harvard University, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Philips Electronics, and Microsoft. For more information on the Perkins+Will Boston office, visit

WBRC Architects/Engineers is one of the largest and most experienced architecture, engineering, and planning firms in Maine. Founded in 1902, WBRC has an extensive portfolio of projects across all sectors, including education, nonprofit, municipal, commercial, healthcare, and research. The firm employs over 60 people in Bangor and Portland, Maine, and Sarasota, Fla. In addition to the firm’s large number of LEED Accredited Professionals, WBRC is also the first A/E firm in Maine to commit to American Institute of Architects’ pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. Bigelow Laboratory is the firm’s second LEED Platinum project. For more information, visit