Sherman Fairchild Biochemistry Laboratory


The Sherman Fairchild Laboratory was designed by Payette, a Boston-based architecture firm, and completed in 1981. It currently houses the Harvard department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. The site is named for Sherman Fairchild (1896-1971) an inventor, philanthropist and founder of over 70 companies, including Fairchild Aviation and Fairchild Semiconductor. In 2009, Payette was retained to plan, program and design the comprehensive renovation of a 100,000 SF research building constructed in 1978. Following an assessment of the existing envelope, mechanical and electrical systems, it was decided to renew both the programmatic space and the infrastructure needed to support new programs. We focused on strategies which placed these spaces adjacent to the exterior envelope where they could benefit from natural light and views outside. This discovery, among others, led to the development of a radically different laboratory floor organization than what had existed previously. It was also highly prototypical for this science. Employing a number of progressive design strategies to meet aggressive energy targets and reduce water use, this comprehensive renovation achieved LEED-CI 3 Platinum Certification in March 2012; it has achieved the highest number of LEED-CI points (95) achieved by any LEED-CI lab project in the world to date.

Constructed, 1981
Renovation, 2009