Location: Longmont, Colorado

Client: Amgen

Amgen Center is a state-of-the-art biotechnology center for research and manufacturing. Long range development of the 230-acre site is projected to reach five million square feet, and will include offices for administration and research, laboratories for research and process development, commercial and clinical manufacturing plants, warehousing and the utility infrastructure required to support rigorous technical demands.

In addition to programming and master planning, Johnson Fain coordinated the public approvals process which included: a sub-regional traffic study; airport neighborhood land use amendment to the Long Range Comprehensive Plan; FAA approvals; concept Plan amendments for existing and adjacent properties; and new land acquisitions and height exceptions for the consolidated property.

The Plan balances the technical requirements of large scale commercial manufacturing with the objective of providing less structured environments more conducive to creative research and discovery, and the need to ensure suitable physical transitions to adjacent smaller-scale residential and institutional uses. The flow of materials, from arrival and storage to finished product and dispatch, is controlled by means of a hierarchical grid-like movement system that separates service, employee, public access and traffic flows. Major service areas are located along the north boundary adjacent to future airport industrial uses. Raw materials are distributed to manufacturing plants via dedicated routes that lead to three large service courts that serve four similar development modules.

Secondary and tertiary east-west movement routes allow for movement of staff and goods between modules. Each module is served by a dedicated and self-sufficient utility core, which limits delivery distances and promotes efficiency for often extreme environmental control and manufacturing process requirements. Selective long-range linkage of utility cores will increase desired redundancies. Development clusters are characterized by balanced program growth, and facilitate simple linear phasing. Modules are clustered around weather-protected and creatively landscaped internal courtyards, which establish an immediate sense of place. Pedestrian priority routes link these courtyards to one another and to the two major east-west open space axes which provide major public and private view corridors to the Rocky Mountains, and a variety of landscaped spaces for staff use.

To the north, an existing stream and mature cottonwoods have been retained to form a natural internal garden. Along the south boundary a small cluster of existing farmhouses and a barn of historic value will be restored and augmented in order to provide a visitor information and education center opposite a new high school. The farmhouse precinct forms part of the southern open space axis which contains smaller structures, providing an extensively landscaped and screened employee parking, and a scale ­transition towards community uses to the south. Urban design, landscape, and architecture guidelines will ensure the visual and material integration of varying building types.