Using Architecture to Inspire Research

Aedas’s Robert Bruckner is helping Seattle Children’s Research Institute design spaces that spark collaboration and fuel the quest for cures.

In 2006, Seattle Children’s Research Institute challenged Robert Bruckner to develop a master plan for our facilities and create spaces that can fuel the quest for cures.

“From our first meeting, it was clear that Children’s vision is to demonstrate how architecture and design can improve the outcomes of their research,” Bruckner says. “It’s been an amazing opportunity, on any given day, to see critical strategic planning issues through, or determine what kind of hinge should go on a lab casework door.”

Bruckner helped select the downtown Seattle Jack R. MacDonald Building as the research institute’s epicenter. He and his colleagues at Aedas, one of the world’s largest architecture firms, also designed our offices in the West 8th Building, our zebrafish aquatics facility and our Discovery Portal, a visitor and information center that will open later in 2015.

Bruckner’s designs often pull down internal walls; use warm colors and contemporary materials; and replace offices with shared spaces and clusters of small, private meeting rooms to ignite collaboration.

“The vision is to promote collaborative over individual spaces, by creating an atmosphere that inspires, delights the senses and improves complex problem solving,” he says.

To Bruckner, this work means more than just helping a client – it means fulfilling a personal commitment to Seattle Children’s patients and their families. He and his wife, Megan Clark, have made generous contributions to Seattle Children’s and are Children's Circle of Care members. Aedas is also a platinum sponsor of the Research Champions program.

“Our practice is to ‘give where you live,’ to the organizations that fundamentally improve our community,” Bruckner says. “I can’t think of a better example than Seattle Children’s.”