WESTBROOK, ME – IDEXX Laboratories, an international leader in pet healthcare, has officially taken occupancy of its new $35 million Synergy Center; a fitting cause for celebration during the company’s 30th anniversary year. The Westbrook, Maine headquarters campus now offers more than 750,000 square feet of office and laboratory space, plus an international food court and wellness center, all “Under One Roof.” As a whole, it is the heart of innovation within the IDEXX Corporation, and successfully concludes Phase II of the master plan crafted by Lavallee Brensinger Architects of Manchester, New Hampshire nearly a decade ago.
According to Barry Brensinger, Principal-In-Charge at Lavallee Brensinger, IDEXX made its design objectives for the new 108,000 square foot building clear from the start. The first was to create increased opportunities for IDEXX employees to collaborate, allowing for cross-pollination of ideas across multiple disciplines. Lavallee Brensinger’s design response included the strategic placement of meeting spaces, food, and wellness center all at the core of the new building’s primary circulation. This core is integrated into the campus’ existing circulation as the major crossroads, engaging IDEXX’s more than 2,100 on-site employees daily.
A second imperative was to capture the dynamic spirit of IDEXX through the development of flexible, readily adaptable spaces. Interior Designer Phyllis Stibler of Stibler Associates explains that multiple pilot areas were assembled and tested in order to ultimately design the highly maneuverable, interchangeable workspace settings that now enable workers to optimize their work environments based on daily needs.
The next goal focused on the exterior image of the building, which key members of IDEXX, Lavallee Brensinger, and Stibler Associates defined as “innovative, scientific, and purposeful, without being ostentatious.” This is achieved through simple and elegant detailing of sleek metals, expansive glass, and the white masonry of existing IDEXX buildings. The result, says Lavallee Brensinger’s Project Manager John Harper, is that “anyone could pass this somewhat secluded location, learn it is the state-of-the-art headquarters of a multinational corporation, and be completely unsurprised.”
To complement its intentionally corporate, high-tech exterior, the fourth design goal was a “warm” interior that emphasizes commitment to employee wellbeing. Here, Stibler Associates drew from a palette of earth tones coupled with bright, saturated colors for furniture and accent walls. The effect created is simultaneously comfortable and energizing.
Reflective of IDEXX’s commitment to healthy environment as fundamental to the wellness of its employees, another design directive was eco-friendliness. The new building has achieved LEED® Gold Certification through its use of daylighting, energy conservation, and green roofs, coupled with low-toxin, locally sourced, and largely recycled materials.
The final challenge was inherent to the considerable size of the expanded campus: provide adequate parking, within acceptable walking distances, without overwhelming the new building or natural environment. To achieve this a new parking lot was added behind the building, at the end of a path that travels through new landscaping and conserved wooded areas.
Ultimately, the best measure of the building’s success will be the experience and enhanced productivity of its users. If the collaborative thought, skill, and care that produced this state-of-the-art facility offer any indications, IDEXX Laboratories’ new Synergy Center is certain to exceed all expectations.
For more information visit Lavallee Brensinger Architects at www.LBPA.com, and Stibler Associates at www.Stibler.com.