The Roche Diagnostics Learning and Development Center demonstrates architecture’s role in defining corporate character. Designed for the Swiss-based drug company’s North American headquarters in Indianapolis, the building establishes a global brand standard, asserting a coherent visual identity for the future of the campus. The building’s high level of environmental performance reinforces Roche’s longstanding commitment to sustainability.
The 87,000-square-foot building comprises three distinct program zones: a VIP sales suite, customer training labs, and seminar rooms. A material palette of glass, steel, and bright white metal unites these spaces, organized around double-height, daylit areas. The architectural design throughout emphasizes clarity of structural expression. Solid-steel bar stock columns rise 32 feet, expressed as an exposed steel endoskeleton that supports a series of north-facing sawtooth skylights.
A range of sustainable design strategies help the building surpass both LEED Platinum requirements and the energy goals of the AIA 2030 Commitment, while also meeting Roche’s in-house energy conservation guidelines. High performance computer controlled exterior blinds reduce thermal heat gain during the summer and admit passive heat during the winter. Radiant panels, integrated into the exposed ceiling, balance the building’s heating and cooling needs, supplemented by an underfloor air distribution system.
Art and architecture merge throughout the building. A two-story-high mural by British artist Terry Haggerty was commissioned for the main lobby, while a 300-foot-long graphic history wall, also designed by SOM, communicates Roche Diagnostics’ corporate and community history to both visitors and staff.
The simplicity, efficiency, and sustainable design of the Learning and Development Center work together to reinforce Roche Diagnostics’ corporate ethos through an architectural lens.