Local News

Triangle Biotechnology Center Opens In Durham

Posted January 25, 2002

— The historic Clark and Sorrell garage building in Durham has been converted into the Triangle Biotechnology Center, a 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art research lab.

"A garage building like this with large open bays and high ceilings is just very well-suited toward laboratory use," said developer Andrew Rothschild.

Employees of Serenex, the center's first tenant, will benefit as they work on answers to pharmaceutical and biotech problems.

"The kind of environment to allow them to do their research, to allow them to do their thought processes to allow them to enjoy what's going on," said George Young, senior vice-president of Serenex.

Modern office spaces sit beneath heavy timbered ceilings, but wet labs have specific requirements for air handling, plumbing, electricity and high-powered communications.

"Wet labs are becoming drier in a certain sense. That's why we have such communications and data capability we provide in our facility," Rothschild said.

Metal stairs are not original to the building, but they do maintain the character, which is very critical when it comes to restoring a historic building.

That concept is important to Rothschild, who sees a parallel between repairing cars, an icon of the 20th century, and the way the Clark and Sorrell building will now be used.

"The biotechnology and pharmaceutical work that we're seeing take place through the garage doors now will be that icon for this century," he said.

The building is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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