University of California, Los Angeles, Terasaki Life Sciences Building
Los Angeles, CA

The previous Life Sciences Building at UCLA was in need of significant upgrades and expansion to serve the university's research needs. Pre-design studies determined that a new building would best meet their goals to provide UCLA with a state-of-the-art research facility.  The new Life Sciences Replacement Building is located on a high profile site within the campus, next to a historic campus building, UCLA sought an architectural and engineering team that could design a premier facility, meeting a strict campus plan.

The new building is home to the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, the Department of Physiological Science, and the Department of Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution. Syska's design supports the diverse requirements of wet research laboratories and related laboratory support space for this LEED Silver facility. A unique overhead lab utility services unit was custom designed to keep lab space flexible. The unit provides a high level of flexibility and convenience to users and maintenance staff. The team also designed a custom plant growth laboratory which features a unique custom rack system that maintains temperature and ventilates the room through a light fixture to extract ballast and lamp heat away from plant-life. Select laboratories and plant rooms feature VAV controls to accommodate fluctuation in load and energy savings.

Syska's lighting designers worked with the architect to develop lighting schemes to highlight the buildings glass encased north facade and northwest corner stairway at Charles Young and Manning Drive. Great care was taken to locate all luminaries so that no light was allowed to fall off site into adjacent residential areas. The team selected indirect, mullion mounted lighting to prevent light pollution and to provide a soft glow within the space. The team also achieved necessary lighting levels for laboratories while also meeting Title 24 and LEED requirements. Laboratories and large public spaces incorporate automatic timer clocks for lighting control with local override switches with occupancy sensors in smaller spaces for increased energy efficiency.

This project received an Award of Merit in the Higher Education / Reserach category in the Best of 2010 awards from California Construction Magazine.

Project Features
H4 Hazard Zones
Systems designed to be energy efficient
Faculty offices
Plant growth lab
Vibration isolation equipment
Pure water
Fume hoods
BSL 2 suite
Hazardous zones

Services Provided
Architectural lighting design

175,000 sf

Completion Date

Construction Cost

  • Central Plant
  • Exterior
  • Lab
  • Image courtesy of UCLA


175,000 sf


2010 Award of Merit - California Construction Best of 2010