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We create exceptional environments that meet our clients' most complex design challenges.

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We care about serving our clients, enriching lives, improving communities and protecting our natural environment through design.

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60+ Years of Design + Innovation

Italy's New Eco-Friendly Hub for Biomedical Research

Ri.MED Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center
Carini, Sicily, Italy

“The dynamic and flexible design for the center that HOK has developed will create the ideal work environment for Ri.MED scientists.”

Bruno Gridelli
Vice President, Ri.MED Foundation

HOK is the lead architect for the Ri.MED Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) near Palermo, Sicily, in Southern Italy.

With more than 600 scientists and staff members, the facility will be a global hub for biomedical research and development. Managed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), its focus on translational science will move research quickly from the lab to the marketplace. The campus will be one of the world’s most environmentally responsive research facilities.

The design promotes communication by organizing the research facility as a small, compact village integrated into the landscape. At the heart of the village, a pedestrian street connects all of the buildings and offers spectacular views of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north and the mountains to the south.

The flexible laboratory space is divided into four wings on three floors. A modular design allows each laboratory neighborhood to be easily subdivided. Floor-to-ceiling glass between laboratory and documentation areas maximizes visibility between teams and provides ample natural light. A mix of formal and informal workspaces encourages collaboration. At the heart of the laboratory space is a central conference center with an auditorium.

A central commons building provides additional conference facilities, a small faculty club café and other amenities. A patient trial clinic and incubator labs are located nearby for easy patient access.


LEED-NC Gold anticipated


334,000 sq. ft. / 31,000 sq. m.


Graphic Design
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture


AIA St. Louis - Merit Award - Unbuilt


Number of scientists to be housed in the BRBC



27 November 2012
“HOK Wins Competition to Design One of World’s Most Eco-Friendly Biomedical Research Centers”

27 November 2012
“HOK Wins Design Competition for UPMC-Managed Center in Italy”
Pittsburgh Business Times