Up-fits in Charleston’s multi-tenant mixed-use building 22 WestEdge provided Vikor Scientific with laboratory, meeting, classroom, and office space for the company’s expanding operations. Vikor’s programming needs included Biosafety Level 2 laboratory space for clinicians, neuropharmacologists, medical specialists, researchers, and scientists as well as Class A office space for its company C-suite, sales and marketing teams, customer service, supply chain management, and payer relations. The company envisioned their new home as a crisp, clean, and modern space befitting its commitment to cutting-edge scientific research.
A wide monolithic frameless glass door and window system creates a seamless entry to Vikor’s space, permitting views into the company’s lobby space from the building’s interior corridor. Floor to ceiling windows throughout permit daylight deep into the interior of lab and office spaces. Wide picture window openings in the walls enclosing the accessioners’ space permit borrowed daylight into the space and sightlines to the labs and other offices across the hall. The main lab showcases an angled soffit feature above the viewing windows which includes the company’s logo in a back-lit, solid surface material. Glass walls enclose offices along interior corridors – a central band of frosted film provides some privacy to office occupants without blocking borrowed daylight. Light colored luxury vinyl tile (LVT) in the corridors provides a hygienic flooring material that dampens the sound of foot traffic; the color and wood pattern provide a soothing, natural contrast to the clinical aesthetic that dominates the rest of the space.
Interior details celebrate Vikor’s mission and brand identity. The color palette includes shades of white and light gray, with the company’s signature light blue brand hue providing a selectively used accent color. Vikor’s blue emphasizes interior door and window frames, provides depth to the breakroom backsplash, highlights the head wall in the classroom, heightens the volume of the lobby ceiling, and enlivens the resin floor of all laboratory spaces and the carpeting of the executive conference room and classroom. An accent wall behind the reception desk provides a pale blue backdrop for the company’s illuminated logo.
The tiered pan ceiling in the lobby incorporates long columns of horizontal fins, punctuated at irregular intervals by narrow strip lights – the effect is a stylized illustration of genome sequencing. This effect is carried through the corridors, where narrow strip lights are irregularly positioned between acoustical ceiling tiles. The textured accent wall of the main corridor makes visual reference to the vertical strands of genome sequencing. Long, angled strip lights in the accessioners’ space form stylized chromosomes, mimicking the X shaped genetic materials at the heart of Vikor’s operations. Wallcovering on the back-corridor wall has an interlocking pattern reminiscent of DNA’s double helix form. A system of hexagonal baffles and light fixtures is suspended from the classroom ceiling, a representation of two-dimensional chemical compound structure and a callback to Vikor’s hexagonal company logo.
Photography by Mic Smith.
2021 Citation Award – Interior Architecture
AIA – South Carolina Chapter