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HGA Tapped as Lead Architect for University of Kentucky Research Building Two

HGA Architects and Engineers


South Limestone Avenue



University of Kentucky


  • Stan Chiu
  • James Vander Heiden
  • Mike Kennedy
  • James A. Goblirsch
  • Michael J. Battoclette
  • Alan P. Elgersma

Year Completed



306,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost




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Project Description

The construction for the new, $265 million, 306,000-square-foot collaborative research center, Research Building Two, is officially underway at the University of Kentucky (UK) on the Lexington campus. HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm, has been tapped as the lead design architect for the highly-anticipated facility that will house scientific research that will work to resolve health disparities in Kentucky such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and substance abuse. Champlin Architecture serves as the executive architect and architect of record.

“The collaborative design spearheaded by Champlin’s leading executive architect, Michael J. Battoclette, AIA, will forever change the way in which research is conducted at the University of Kentucky and has the potential to serve as a model for the future of medical research,” said HGA’s Stan Chiu, AIA, LEED AP, and UK design team principal. “The priority for our team is to design a work environment where researchers, principal investigators and even nutritionists can intersect – formally and informally – to collaboratively develop methods for chronic disease prevention and treatment.”

Slated for completion in summer of 2018, the new structure, Research Building Two (RB2), is set to attract world-class researchers by supporting UK’s goal to approach healthcare with science. After studying nearly a dozen traditional medical research laboratories and the proximity of wet lab researchers in relation to data analysts, also referred to as principal investigators (PIs), the UK design team determined a more collaborative design was effective for productivity, with natural light for all throughout the facility. This includes an evolved work flow environment that differs from traditional secluded laboratories, in which wet lab researchers and data analysts work together in an open space to tackle some of the most complex chronic diseases that require multiple specialties.

Located west of the existing Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) and north of the Biological Pharmaceutical Building (BioPharm Complex), the design of RB2 will also engage the community. This includes inviting, open lobby areas to foster interaction between researchers and community participants, visible stairwells to encourage physical activity and a café that will serve healthy food.

About University of Kentucky:
Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky is adjacent to downtown Lexington and nestled in the scenic heart of Kentucky's beautiful Bluegrass Region. The campus covers more than 918 acres and is home to more than 30,000 students and nearly 15,000 employees. UK is one of eight universities in the U.S. that has well-established programs in agriculture, engineering, medicine and pharmacy on a single campus, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration. Kentucky’s flagship university comprises 16 academic and professional colleges as well as the Graduate School and University Libraries system. Students can choose from some 200 majors and degree programs.

About HGA:
HGA is an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm. With offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles; Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Washington DC, the nationally recognized firm has developed expertise in the corporate, healthcare, government, arts, community, and education, since 1953. HGA’s culture for interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge sharing and design investiga¬tion helps prepare its clients for the future with responsive, innovative and sustainable design. Visit or follow the firm on Facebook or Twitter.

About Champlin Architecture:
Champlin Architecture was founded in 1978 and provides architecture, planning and interior design services to Healthcare, Science + Technology, Higher Education, Corporate, Civic, and Worship clients. We recognize that architecture is where art and science, creativity, and analysis converge. Our clients’ images, values and functions are analyzed and creatively translated into a building that expresses their brand, reinforces the firm culture, and optimizes their business strategy. Champlin Architecture’s approach to planning and design is to create a balance between the functional requirements of the facility and the need to contribute to the human and aesthetic aspects of the environment. Visit or follow our firm on Facebook or Twitter.
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