Facility Spotlight – April 2017

Alexandria’s Spectrum I

Alexandria 3033 Science Park Rd

1. What are the business operations conducted by the building’s tenants?

Owned and operated by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Spectrum I (3033 Science Park Road) is a laboratory and office building in Torrey Pines featuring tenants focused on the research and development of novel therapeutics to treat several diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. Scientists use the laboratories for various biological and chemical research activities.


2. How many people work in the building?

Approximately 250 people, with the majority comprised of biologists and chemists working in the laboratories, or scientific health professionals managing clinical trials.

3. How many square feet does the building encompass?

Spectrum I encompasses 102,938 RSF, which is the first of Alexandria’s four building Spectrum Collection in the heart of Torrey Pines.

4. What makes the building unique?

Spectrum I was the first building to be completed within the Spectrum Collection development, and its most unique features are the interior design elements. Inspired by the canyon in which it’s situated, the vision for the building was to bring the openness and energy of the outside in. It’s why in the interiors you’ll find a whimsical tire swing, an installation of vintage street mailboxes, and a conference room wallpapered with a panoramic view of Torrey Pines State Park complete with stylized clouds of golf balls imbedded in the ceiling to evoke the neighboring golf course.



5. What recreation options do employees receive?

Employees working at Spectrum I are treated to the exclusive fitness amenities available at The Alexandria at Torrey Pines (10966 Torreyana Road), just a few minutes’ walk away. There, they can enjoy free access to spin, yoga, and Pilates classes, a full-sized basketball court, and a selection of curated group exercise classes.


6. What food options are available to employees?

Alexandria has partnered with award-winning chef Brian Malarkey to provide Spectrum I employees and the broader community with convenient access to two inventive restaurants on the Torrey Pines Mesa. The Farmer & the Seahorse, Alexandria’s newest restaurant in San Diego, is located within walking distance at The Alexandria at Torrey Pines. Green Acre Nautilus, located at 3535 General Atomics Court, offers farm-to-table dining.

7. Can you describe the history of the building?

Constructed in 1981, the building was originally occupied by a corporation specializing in radio communications for military applications. The building’s systems consumed enormous amounts of energy, and the interiors were entirely void of any connection to the natural world. The facade of the building had offered only a thin ribbon window for daylighting, which provided negligible insulating value, so the interiors were dark and the air-conditioning had to continually fight the heat load of the solar burden. The interior office plan had been a labyrinth of gypsum board built for physical security to a standard reminiscent of the Cold War era. In 2012, Alexandria identified the building as an ideal location to redevelop to meet demand from a growing life sciences industry.

8. What, if any, redevelopment, did the building undergo?

In 2012, Alexandria completed a major renovation of the site, the building, and its interiors, with a mission to provide a healthy productive workplace for the next generation of tenants by embracing the natural environment. This goal was vitally important to Alexandria in our desire to support the mission of Spectrum’s current tenants, who are working to improve the lives of patients suffering from some of the most debilitating diseases. The environment, which was designed to inspire creativity, has been credited by our first tenant with supporting its early successes.

The building is now fully incorporated into the natural sandstone canyon, which bisects the site, where thousands of years of erosion have revealed fossils of the area’s prehistoric plant and animal inhabitants. This canyon was the inspiration for the interior design of the building. The airy structure of the Torrey pines extends from the canyon rim up and throughout the building. This natural environment plays into the sense of adventure that inspired the designers and now motivates Spectrum occupants to explore the frontiers of science in search of the latest pharmaceutical therapies.

9. Has the building won any sustainability awards?

The renovation achieved a LEED® Gold certification, which demonstrates Alexandria’s commitment to go even beyond CALGreen guidelines and the Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards of the California building code. Some of the standout credits received from the LEED Gold certification were for our alternative-transportation bicycle storage and changing rooms, our accommodations for fuel-efficient vehicles and carpools, the increased ventilation in the building, our sophisticated building management system, and the extension of daylighting to nearly 100% of the building’s occupants.

In 2016, the building received San Diego BOMA’s TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Award in the Earth category for its sustainable design as well as its incorporation of the natural environment into the design, such as in its architectural finishes.


Mark your calendars! If you liked this spotlight and you want to know more about the Spectrum campus, our next Leverage Your Beverage will be hosted at Spectrum 2, the building directly adjacent to Spectrum 1. April 26th, 2017 from 4PM to 7PM. To register, click here.


Submitted by Melanie Bamba, RSI Roofing & Solar