Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

The Janelia Experiment

January-February 2007

Janelia Farm, the research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is situated on 689 acres above the Potomac River in Ashburn, Virginia. The complex includes a main building about a thousand feet long (left),  and a 100-room hotel (right) for conference visitors, as well as long-term housing (not shown).

Rendering © Rafael Viñoly Architects


Janelia Farm, the research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is situated on 689 acres above the Potomac River in Ashburn, Virginia. The complex includes a main building about a thousand feet long (left),  and a 100-room hotel (right) for conference visitors, as well as long-term housing (not shown).

Rendering © Rafael Viñoly Architects

Great scientific research organizations, of the rare variety that produce multiple Nobel Prize-caliber breakthroughs, share common traits that can be imitated. This is the precept behind the creation of Janelia Farm, the new biological-research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). In November, scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute visited the new campus, where everything from architecture to organization to social culture has been planned to nurture an optimal environment for scientific discovery. What the visitors saw may offer ideas for Harvard, which is planning an ambitious science-research campus in Allston and working to ensure that the organizational structure of the sciences, as well as the architecture of new buildings, will promote a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration.