People-Focused Design

Cytiva Northeast Headquarters
Marlborough, Massachusetts

SMMA was engaged to help establish a new Northeast Headquarters for one global medical manufacturing company, since acquired by Cytiva. The company had a clearly defined goal in mind: they were looking to consolidate operations to work more efficiently, as well as to cultivate a culture of collaboration. Critical to their new strategy was a new, flexible design to promote greater agility in their research and development endeavors.  

At first, the team was commissioned to identify an existing facility that satisfied the client’s current needs and provided the flexibility necessary to accommodate future growth. The design team selected a multi-story building with ample amenities and infrastructure capable of supporting the client's numerous cGMP and laboratory environments. SMMA developed multiple options for lab and office configurations, as well as conceptual designs that enhanced a large, double-height space into an open forum for informal gatherings and meetings.

Early in the design process, the team had to confront the potential for cross-contamination with a neighboring life science company. Neither Cytiva nor their potential new neighbor wanted their respective proximity to impact their businesses negatively. To ensure that there would not be any contamination from the neighboring company, the design team conducted a thorough analysis of their processes, HVAC, and electrical systems.

  • New Cytiva headquarters in Marlborough

Diagramming Success

SMMA developed a universal office plan that met the programmatic needs of the facility. The team worked closely with the client to understand departmental adjacencies, equipment and process requirements, as well as individual business-unit goals. The process included conducting a workshop with nearly 30 key stakeholders who participated in shaping the vision for how the new facility would look. By the end of the workshop, the design team had a diagrammatic map to illustrate the ideal relationships among the multiple business units that were being consolidated into the new location.

Design workshop with Cytiva stakeholders for new Northeast headquarters
Large lab area with cutting edge equipment at Cytiva HQ

Supporting Science

Cytiva’s new laboratories are state-of-the-art to support those researchers and scientists working within one of the most competitive industries in the world.

The lab types in the facility include both wet and dry. They are utilized for research and development encompassing bio-processing in upstream, downstream, and single-use development, chromatography, cell therapy, and diagnostic development. In addition, the design incorporates high-bay labs, training labs, and scientific support labs throughout the space.

To advance Cytiva’s products and services required designing a facility that prioritizes an adaptable infrastructure for utilities and laboratory casework. With a flexible infrastructure, the facility’s spaces will be better suited to support those who work within them, and thus future growth for the company, for years to come.

Creating an Innovative Learning and Sales Environment

Customers are often brought to the facility to be trained on new equipment and to partner with Cytiva in the development of new products. Maintaining the business’s privacy and confidentiality when these visitors tour the lab space was of paramount importance in our design strategy. SMMA designed a tour route throughout the facility that enables visitors and employees to see manufacturing processes and provides a view into non-secure laboratories, without compromising another customer's business interests. As well, educational and marketing materials are located along the tour route in the forms of electronic and traditional media.

Strategically placed break areas between the office and laboratory spaces encourage interaction and transparency among departments, while also promoting creativity and innovation. SMMA incorporated interior finishes that reflect the client’s culture and connection to nature with interior glazing reflecting the transparency of the business and maximizing daylight views. As well, employees can plug their laptops in and connect wirelessly throughout the facility and can choose from a variety of seating options that accommodate various work styles and meeting types.

Map of Cytiva northeast HQ customer and visitors tour route


  • Cytiva employees collaborating in a break out area at the company's new HQ