Edwards Lifesciences Campus Expansion

Irvine, California

High-performance campus with offices, core-and-shell lab spaces and active outdoor courtyards designed to spark creativity, innovation and a healthier workforce.

Edwards Lifesciences expanded its 469,000-square-foot headquarters campus in Irvine, California around ambitious, clearly defined performance goals. The campus includes a two-story entry pavilion, a three-story office/lab building, a two-story full-service dining facility and conference center, and a four-story office/lab building. The three buildings earned LEED Gold certification and met the American Institute of Architect’s 2030 Commitment threshold of a 70% predicted energy use reduction; the entry pavilion is net zero energy and earned LEED Platinum certification.

Edwards Lifesciences acquired the 10-acre parcel for the expansion in 2018, with the company forecast to grow to more than 5,000 employees. The new buildings are arranged around a series of outdoor plazas and courtyards. A mesh of skywalks and bridges acts as arteries for the campus, weaving together the new and existing elements.

Outdoor spaces provide a mix of active and contemplative spaces. Building circulation including corridors, stairs and connecting walkways were pulled to the exterior minimizing the project’s energy consumption by eliminating the need for air conditioning and lighting in these spaces. All exterior circulation spaces are shaded and activated with gathering spaces and planted roof decks. The roof decks are shaded with canopies constructed with photovoltaic panels.

The landscape framework connecting the spaces includes tree-lined walkways, precast pavers, and a palette of native, drought-tolerant plants, all contributing to a system of bioretention areas and modular wetlands that treat 100% of stormwater runoff.

The new buildings are a mix of offices, administrative spaces core-and-shell lab spaces and meeting areas, as well as a dining and conference center and a museum. The company’s history and story are woven into the spaces, which are filled with collaborative zones and different areas for employees to find quiet and fresh air.

The design purposely puts sustainability on display. PV arrays provide essential shade canopies throughout the courtyards and expressive roof overhangs are a daily reminder of the energy-saving strategies. High-performance fritted “campus blue” glass, ceramic glass fins, louvered skylights and photovoltaic panels help reduce energy use. High efficiency mechanical systems and LED lighting minimize the campus expansion’s energy consumption. Each building is outfitted with renewable energy systems in the form of roof mounted photovoltaic panels which further offset their optimized loads.

The entry pavilion features a double-height lobby and transparent glass façade fronted by a landscaped arrival court and complemented by a dramatic overhang of PV panels. The space is a new “window to the world” for the campus, a welcoming space that reimagines the visitor experience and spotlights the company’s work, while providing an important point of contact for the scientists, doctors, patients, and families who visit the campus.

The expansion is the latest step in a decade-long relationship between client and designer, focused on developing a corporate campus centered on health and wellness and fostering creativity and innovation. The first project was a 1,200-hundred-stall parking structure, which featured a 4,500-square-foot green wall that is one of the largest of its kind in North America.

In 2017 Edwards Lifesciences added the LPA-designed, LEED Platinum, net zero energy, 22,000-square-foot Starr Atrium, which created a bridge between two existing office buildings and provided a dramatic new entry and all hands meeting room to the corporate headquarters.

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