From Labs to Libraries, Jan. 20th @ 9:30 am

From Labs to Libraries, Jan. 20th @ 9:30 am 2018-02-03T17:33:55+00:00


Ken Baldwin                                                Andy Darragh

Ken Baldwin and Andy Darragh are architects with the firm Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects. The firm thrives on designing places that inspire discovery of all kinds – whether it be a laboratory for scientific discovery or a library for personal discovery.

When Jim McGraw started the firm in 1976, originally known just as James McGraw Associates, he specialized in high tech military training facilities with flight simulators and other specialized equipment.  When the biotech industry started to flourish (and the defense industry started to decline) it was a natural transition to apply those technical coordination skills to designing laboratories with all of their specialized equipment.  McGraw joined with others to start BIOCOM, the life science industry organization that started in San Diego.

The advantage that San Diego has for the Biotech industry started with the great research institutions that are here – The Salk Institute, UCSD, The Scripps Research Institute and what is now the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, all located in close proximity on the Torrey Pines mesa.  As these institutes discovered potential cures for diseases, many companies were created to develop them into commercial drugs, and found it advantageous to locate on the mesa.  Thus the San Diego biotech cluster developed and companies continue to gravitate around the institutes.

Some of the major projects completed by Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects include:

  1. The “Blake Buildings” – the first two speculative developer shell buildings designed for biotech research in San Diego
  2. IDEC Pharmaceuticals R&D/Manufacturing Headquarters – the facility where the first monoclonal antibody treatment for cancer (Rituxan) was developed and produced.
  3. Biogen Idec NIMO – a six-building, 500,000 square foot large scale biologics manufacturing campus now operated by Genentech to produce cancer treatments.
  4. The San Diego Zoo’s Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species – one of the first LEED Certified laboratories in San Diego and home to the “frozen zoo”
  5. Texas A&M National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing – a vaccine manufacturing facility designed to respond quickly to a bio-terrorism or pandemic flu outbreak of a national scale.
  6. The Alpine Branch Library – the first Net Zero Energy building for the County of San Diego
  7. Gilead Sciences La Verne Manufacturing Campus – a 390,000 square foot manufacturing campus for the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections.

Ken Baldwin received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Architecture degrees at Washington University in St. Louis.  He has been the San Diego Chapter President for the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers and the co-chairman of the BIOCOM Facilities Committee. He continues to serve as a Life Director on the BIOCOM Board of Directors and is an Advisory Board Member at the NewSchool of Architecture.

About a noteworthy experience Ken Baldwin had while studying architecture, he states:
“I had the privilege of studying under Buckminster Fuller in St. Louis.  “Bucky” was the inventor of the geodesic dome; the lightest way to cover the maximum area with the least amount of materials. He integrated engineering and architecture in a way that had inherent beauty in its simplicity and economy.”

Andy Darragh received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and also studied architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark.  He has been the San Diego Chapter President for the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers and is the current co-chairman of the BIOCOM Facilities Committee.

Significantly for Andy Darragh, he states: “I have been inspired by the dogged determination of our clients who endure the many setbacks required to bring life-changing drugs to patients.  My most memorable experiences have been working on project teams that create their own culture around a common purpose that has the chance to save lives.”

Their lecture will focus on the timeline in the development of both the firm and the biotech industry in San Diego.


Christa Vragel, Writer