Clarian Health is Indiana’s largest health system and includes 16 hospitals and health centers across the state. The freestanding Clarian Pathology Laboratory addresses a rising number of tests by consolidating laboratories previously located in other Clarian Health facilities, decreases turnaround time through a major robotics system, and helps Clarian Health expand its outreach services.

The laboratory connects to nearby Clarian Health campuses—Methodist, Indiana University, and Riley Hospital for Children—by way of the Clarian People Mover, an elevated transportation system. A pneumatic tube system below the tracks of the People Mover transports blood and specimen samples from downtown hospitals to the lab, enhancing the delivery process. More than 10 million tests per year will be conducted inside the facility. The new building allowed testing space to be designed around the robotics system. Minimal walls and large, open spaces can be reconfigured as lab testing methods change and programs grow and evolve.

Project category: New construction (completed April 2006)

Chief administrator: John Eble, MD, MBA, Chairman, Department of Pathology, Clarian Health, (317) 274-1738

Firm: Blackburn BSA, LLC, (317) 819-2207

Design team: Donald Altemeyer, AIA, ACHA, Principal-in-Charge; Todd Buerger, AIA, ACHA, Project Manager; Alan Rainey, Project Architect; Kay Townsend, Laboratory Designer (BSA LifeStructures); Robert Hague, AIA, Project Designer (Blackburn Architects); Kim Strawbridge, Interior Designer (Maregatti Interiors)

Photography: Karen Vance Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 320,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $127

Total construction cost (excluding land): $40,597,000

Located in the vibrant Central Canal area in downtown Indianapolis, the laboratory serves as a collaborative workplace for more than 450 clinical laboratory scientists and support staff. Three stories of laboratories and offices sit on top of a three-story parking facility, providing laboratory users with elevated views of the city from plentiful windows. Each façade responds to its context, using shape, color, materials, and detailing to draw upon the immediate surroundings. Inside, geometric shapes relate to the exterior, and vibrant colors and warm wood tones provide a positive first impression.