Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab breaks ground on its biggest building yet - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Oct. 24, 2017 12:08 pm

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab breaks ground on its biggest building yet

The Laurel facility is building a new home for interdisciplinary work, from sea to space.

Breaking new ground at JHU APL.

(Courtesy photo)

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab is set to begin construction on a new building that will be the Laurel-based facility’s largest.

The four-story building will house a mix of lab and office space, according to a press release. It will also be outfitted with a 200-person conference room, STEM education facilities and a coffee shop. It will also have an open design approach to encourage collaboration in common areas. Scheduled opening is 2020.

The building will have room for about 650 employees. It’s designed to draw from across the Lab.

The building will serve as the home of APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department. It’s designed to be a cross-disciplinary sector which supports agencies like DARPA and the Intelligence Community. Some of the programs focus on cyber operations, undersea threats, national security missions in space and health, according to its website.

Officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking last week.

“Our greatest technical achievements are almost always the result of cross-disciplinary collaborations — physicists collaborating with biologists and neuroscientists, materials scientists collaborating with health professionals and space exploration scientists, and similar partnerships,” Jim Schatz, the Department’s head, said in a statement. “We wanted a building that fostered these creative explosions of diverse thinking, and makes it easy for people and ideas to flow freely.”

The Lab, which is a nonprofit division of Johns Hopkins, remains the largest private employer in Howard County. Along with undertaking headline-grabbing projects like mind-typing with Facebook, a robotic arm and missions to Pluto, it also remains a magnet attracting talent to the area. Some of those employees go on to form their own companies in the Baltimore area.

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