761,055 hours worked by trades
295,000 square feet
341 trees planted
181 prefabricated lab core walls
Those are just a few of the statistics behind one of the region’s prominent commercial developments. The CREW-St. Louis/ULI tour of the new Pfizer building in Chesterfield started with a gathering in the well-appointed, modern lobby at the bottom of the open staircase to the second floor. Many employees descended the stairs to leave their natural light-filled, 24x7 workspaces as we were learning those facts and figures of the Clayco/Lamar Johnson Collaborative structure.
The building, located at 875 Chesterfield Parkway West, is a biotherapeutic drug development facility. What this means is that all molecules tested and researched in the facility are produced in living cells that Pfizer develops. The goal for the facility is to develop technologies to deliver biotherapeutic molecules, vaccines and gene therapies for clinical trials and if successful, transfer on to Pfizer commercial sites for production and distribution to the market. The entire process from discovery to market for one drug can take eight to 10 years.
The employees at this location spend a lot of their workday at their lab bench or desk doing research. They are encouraged to spend their off-bench time with their fellow employees in one of the many collaborative interior spaces or outside on the patio adjacent to the 36 acres of wooded space denoted a Native Habitat by the World Wildlife Foundation.
The first room we visited, known as the “Link”, provides restaurant booths, gathering tables, quiet nooks and a coffee bar – purposefully designed for the off-bench time. Automatic shades on the west wall descend with the sun and upgraded lighting harvests the sunlight throughout the day and dim accordingly. The large cafeteria is also set up to promote collaboration and socialization, boasting the same varied types of seating, large monitors and a 24x7 accessibility complete with scanners and Apple wallet pay.
The laboratory bench space is mostly on the second and third floors, leaving the balance of the first floor for pharmaceutical processing areas. The building was designed with large windows in the processing space that allow passersby to observe the scientists, stainless-steel bioreactors, fermenters and sterile lab space. The lab spaces include 181 prefabricated core wall panels that were assembled in Granite City by Icon Mechanical, shipped to the site and lifted into their predesignated space in the building resulting in time and cost savings, and better construction quality with a higher level of safety for the construction workers.
A view of the onsite fitness and conference centers and the knowledge that new preventative vaccines, disease therapies and even cures are being developed in this space every day completed the tour of the state-of-the-art facility. Many thanks to Clayco, the Lamar Johnson Collaborative and, of course, Pfizer for the fantastic tour.