Broad moves into new digs designed to encourage serendipitous discoveries

When the Broad Institute began building its home at 7 Cambridge Center back in 2004, Director Eric Lander emphasized the importance of open labs and shared spaces. Yet as Broad expanded, hundreds of scientists ended up spread across four sites. Now Broad has reignited its original vision with the opening of new digs. 

Broad's new building

Broad officially opened the building at 75 Ames Street in Boston this week, although scientists had already begun to relocate to the site. Once the migration is complete, 800 researchers who used to work at four sites across the city will share the same building. The arriving researchers will rub shoulders with colleagues at Broad's original home at 7 Cambridge Center, which is connected to the new building via walkways. 

"This new building will really represent our coming together. It will be an extended single campus, which will really facilitate the work that we do," Dr. David Altshuler, deputy director and chief academic officer of Broad, told The Boston Globe. A feature in building trade magazine gb&d last summer showed the measures Broad has taken to create the feeling of a single campus, notably by mimicking the style of 7 Cambridge Center at 75 Ames Street. 

Attempts to make the transition from one building to another as seamless as possible are part of Broad's strategy to increase collaboration and encourage unscheduled discussions between different research groups. An advance in biological methods or computing capabilities at one team could have implications for researchers tackling seemingly separate problems, but siloed facilities prevent the knowledge from spreading. 

- read the Boston Globe's article
- check out Broad's release
- here's Lander's comments from 2004
- and gb&d's feature