Brookhaven National Laboratory, Chemistry Building

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Brookhaven National Laboratory, Chemistry Building


Drawings   50  browse all »

Topographic Surveys of a Part of Brookhaven National Laboratory
Map of Propane Gas System (annotated print)
Map of Propane Gas System

Correspondence   1  browse all »


A consortium of nine universities conducted research for the United States Atomic Energy Commission at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The members of the chemistry department attempted to circumvent the General Services Administration (GSA) and choose an architect for the proposed new building that was to house their department. After interviewing luminaries such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Breuer’s formers student, I.M. Pei, the department decided to retain Breuer’s services. Breuer and his associate Robert Gatje proposed a novel spatial layout for the laboratories in which offices were placed along the edges of the floor plan to best take advantage of natural light. Sandwiched between the offices were a glass-enclosed hallway, which offered access to the laboratory spaces, and a utility corridor that allowed access to electricity, pipes and other mechanical services. Breuer never built the laboratory because the GSA insisted on its own method of selecting an architect, but the eventual designer of the building incorporated Breuer’s innovative floor layout.