Reception & Ceremony
October 4, 2018
The US Grant


Illumina I3 Campus – UTC

A new architectural icon in the University Town Center area is redefining the traditional notion of corporate research park, in both form and function. Three trapezoidal, all-white, concrete buildings off Interstate 805 and La Jolla Village Drive make up the new i3 campus, now the home of leading genomics research and life sciences company Illumina.

The three buildings are situated to create a campus triangle. At the center is a 33,500-square-foot outdoor courtyard featuring a performance stage, a bocce ball court, outdoor meeting and lounge areas, and a cafe terrace.  Parking is obscured from view, below ground, allowing employees to enjoy a beautifully landscaped outdoor area for sports and leisure activities.  Along with an amenity-rich outdoor courtyard, landscaped gathering spaces, and underground parking, the architecturally striking buildings provide an open, interconnected work-play experience unlike any other office park environment.

Architecturally, the campus’s three buildings join a family of well-known local scientific institutions—the Salk Institute and the J. Craig Venter Institute—with all-white architectural concrete skin. Dramatic cantilevers create iconic views of the campus from the outside while internally framing the upper level terraces and outdoor staircases.

The project’s interior design was inspired by Illumina’s “work anywhere” culture, which enables staff to work wherever they feel most comfortable at any time of day. The campus is 100 percent wireless and provides a variety of work areas to accommodate different work styles and preferences.  Wall-to-ceiling glass capitalizes on views to the surrounding mountains and infuses the interior space with natural light. Collaborative areas, such as lounges, break rooms, and conference spaces, are connected directly to outdoor terraces and bookend the research and office areas.

Employing environmentally progressive design strategies that reduce energy and water use by 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, the i3 campus received LEED Platinum certification for core and shell, and is tracking LEED Gold certification for interiors.

Key sustainability attributes include:
On-site fuel cells, generating efficient, clean energy with low emissions.
On-site bio-filtration system, improving storm water quality and reducing the impact on the city’s local infrastructure.
Green roofs atop all three buildings, with heat- and drought-tolerant native plants regulating temperatures inside and filtering pollutants from the water.
Recycled water (from the local utility), irrigating the site and used for cooling towers, eliminating the need for potable water usage in these areas.
Natural light, permeating the buildings’ workplace interiors during daylight hours.

Total 43 Votes

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  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    4775, 4785, 4795 Executive Dr., San Diego CA 92121

    Project Owner/Developer:

    BioMed Realty

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Kevin Tremblay - Biomed Realty ( / Jenny Durbin - Illumina (

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Perkins + Will


  • Celia Conover

    Illumina I3 is stunning with elegant forms, gorgeous light concrete and command of its site. Unfortunately, the photos here don’t do it justice but I’m really pleased to see it nominated. The traffic on 805 is never fun but passing this building always brings a bright spot to my day.

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