Project: Syntex Interim Facilities*
Client: Syntex Corporation
Original Location: Palo Alto, California
Current Location: University of California, Davis
Recognition: AIA National Honor Award

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Syntex Corporation wanted an interim facility in Palo Alto that would serve its needs until it could design and build permanent quarters on the site. The company needed laboratories, offices, a cafeteria, and a conference/training center.

Making innovative use of simple and affordable components, the architects designed a practical and aesthetically appealing complex of four building clusters that could be disassembled, moved, and reused if necessary.

The building clusters, consisting of four to five modules each, provided a total of 23,000 square feet—enough to house all the required facilities. To create the buildings, the designers modified factory-manufactured portable classrooms (trailers with wheels) to meet the aesthetic and environmental standards of the Stanford Industrial Park setting. The trailers, 10 feet wide by 32 or 60 feet long, were hauled from a Southern California factory to the site and hoisted by crane onto previously constructed footings.

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* Under the direction of Ian Mackinlay (principal in charge). Architect of record: MWM Architects Inc. of Oakland, California.