Mayo Clinic designed the proposed $120 million Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building to serve as a “window” into its research to create “the medicine of the future.”
Dr. Y.S. Prakash, Mayo Clinic’s chair of physiology and biomedical engineering, said this is the first opportunity to design a new Mayo Clinic scientific research center that has arisen in years.
Currently, the only research-only buildings on the Rochester campus are the Stabile and Guggenheim buildings.
It was announced Tuesday that the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building design, which was introduced in 2019, has almost tripled in size. What was originally a four-story building grew to 11 stories with 176,000 square feet of lab space.
The new center is being built on the corner of Third Street and Fourth Avenue Southwest. That’s just north of the Opus Imaging Research Building. Mayo Clinic’s Connolly Building, which previously stood on that site, was demolished in January to clear the way for the project. Mayo Clinic officials say the goal is to break ground yet this spring and open the Kellen building in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“It’s a golden opportunity,” Prakash said. “One of our priorities with the building is to showcase the fantastic research that Mayo Clinic is doing … a forward-looking building that would highlight a window into what is going on at Mayo Clinic.”
To emphasize how this center is different, the design features a very unique exterior, with plans showing sweeping and random opaque shapes covering parts of the building. While details on exactly what materials will be used to create that effect are still being worked out, Prakash said that the “futuristic” look will represent the innovative work expected to be done in the Kellen center.
“There is a story that goes with the building. That is something we have not done in the past,” he said.
In 2019, Mayo Clinic surveyed its researchers to learn what they would like to see in a new laboratory complex. They asked for dynamic and agile environments to encourage collaboration. The novel design of the Kellen building is the result.
Gregory Gores, Mayo Clinic’s Executive Dean for Research, described the building design as “supporting flexibility and growth for emerging scientific technologies."
Following in the footsteps of the One Discovery Square design, the new research center will feature open spaces to encourage collaboration and connections between researchers who might not normally interact with each other.
Unlike in past situations, the Kellen building is not being driven by an immediate need, allowing the design to be more proactive rather than reactive. It will house Mayo Clinic research projects, many focused on cancer. Some research will move from other sites, and some will be new projects.
The goal is to create a place to foster and spotlight cutting-edge science.
“One of the key things we need to do is to think differently about how we do research, while keeping the workforce of the future in mind,” Prakash said. "This is where Mayo Clinic will make the medicine of the future happen.”