Lilly Biotechnology Center




Construction Cost: Confidential

Project Size: 13,000 SF

Architect: Gensler

Lilly Biotechnology Center

San Diego

When a pharmaceutical company decided to enhance the entrance of their traditional four-story suburban office building, the architect conceived a wavy screen wall with hundreds of elements to represent the organic patterns of DNA structure. They then turned to Walter P Moore’s enclosure engineering specialists to make it a reality. The client loved the geometric intricacies, but wanted to avoid the excessive construction costs and detailing problems that too often accompany complicated structures. 

To address the geometric complexity of numerous curving surfaces, Walter P Moore collaborated with the architect and the metal fabricator to develop the screen wall as a collection of vertical metal fins, each individually rotated and precisely configured. The fins are supported on a frame consisting of curved horizontal steel rails attached to V-shaped columns, further simplifying the underlying support structure.

To design and detail the non-linear structure, Walter P Moore created a high-fidelity, connected digital model of all elements. This model not only allowed us to develop accurate analyses and details, the connected workflow also helped us seamlessly incorporate dimensional changes to the complex structure demanded by the late relocation of the screen wall on the site.

Even though the relocation occurred after permit documents were issued, the project proceeded without interruption and was completed on schedule.