Science & Technology

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
Leonardo Da Vinci

Science + Technology is a very important area of expertise for the firm. One of our greatest passions, research laboratory work comprises nearly 50% of our projects. We’ve completed over one-half million square feet of laboratory and related space and have been developing our knowledge base and approach for over 25 years – not only because the project type interests us, but because of the critical importance of research and development to the world in which we live. Advancement of science and technology is vital to our environment, the prosperity of our region, our public health, our security and our quality of life.

We endeavor to create laboratory spaces that will promote research paradigms and lead to new discovery. We recognize that advancements in research are happening more and more at the intersections of various scientific disciplines. Accordingly, we’ve aligned our firm with leading institutions that share this awareness. We take great pride in our role of facilitating these important connections within the environments that we design. Rapid change in research protocols is a given. We meet this challenge by delivering high performance spaces that are at once inspirational, functional, sustainable, fully integrated and equipped with flexibility to allow physical reconfiguration as demanded by the research and ROI as demanded by the institution. Our collaborative skills and technical approach to defining program and performance criteria ensures the success of our client’s research facility from the inside out. It is the application of our vision, design philosophy and experience that shapes the solution from the outside in.

Our Science & Technology Clients:

  • Higher Education/Academic Research
  • Corporate Science
  • Healthcare
  • Government

Our Science & Technology Project Experience:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Programming
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Grant Proposal Support
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Teaching Laboratories
  • Pathology Laboratories
  • Translational Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Vivarium (rodents, nhp, large animal, aquatic, insectary)
  • Biocontainment Laboratories, BSL3
  • NMR Spectroscopy
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Robotics
  • Applied Physics
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Water Quality Assurance Laboratory
  • Material Sciences
  • Metrology Laboratories
  • Spectrometry
  • Microscopy/Nanoscale Imaging

Our Science + Technology Project Approach

… is collaborative
We actively seek input from all project Stakeholders including faculty, lead investigators, environmental health and safety officers, operations and maintenance personnel and administration. Our internal project management process with architectural staff, engineering colleagues and specialty consultants follows a similar paradigm where wide-ranging Science + Technology expertise is pulled together to translate complex research programs into elegant solutions.

…is structured, yet cognitive
Our experience informs discussion of critical issues and criteria sooner, rather than later, in the process. We’ve developed standardized tools and processes for gathering program and performance criteria from Stakeholders in an orderly, structured and effective manner. While the process is evolutionary and flexible, our underlying framework allows the project team to define the problem thoroughly, document and communicate requirements clearly and execute effectively. While we’ve designed hundreds of laboratory projects, we remain inquisitive and determined to learn something new about the science, the pedagogy, safety measures or standard operating procedures, energy conservation strategies, engineered systems or construction technologies that can be enhanced through the project. This approach deepens our collective knowledge and abilities to meet evolving challenges in laboratory design.

Athletics, Recreation & Aquatics

"He that will make good use of any part of his life must allow a large part of it to recreation."
John Locke

One of the broadest and most diverse areas of expertise at TLBA is design for athletics, recreation and aquatics.  Projects range from a single user group, such as a Division I University sports facility, to parks and multi-purpose venues with active and passive recreation.  The functions may be indoors, outdoors or sometimes both.  Requirements may be very specific to ensure sanctioned competition, or very general to allow evolution of programming and flexibility.  The facility may be for a single user group, or multi-purpose with a broad range of users.

Facilities intended for sports and athletics must recognize and support the goals of the group providing the services and understand the needs of the participants and staff. For example, a facility for youth sports is quite different from a facility for college or professional athletes and many facilities must accommodate both.  One constant, however, is TLBA’s commitment to innovative design, which enhances the quality of the athletic experience for the athletes, spectators and staff.   We recognize that due to the nature of tournaments, meets, camps or clinics, venues must accommodate the athletes and their families for extended periods, often with a fair amount of “down-time”.  What is provided beyond the playing surface can contribute to the overall success of the facility by providing basic services such as food-service, clean toilet facilities and places to relax or gather.

Parks can provide both active and passive recreation and must foster a sense of relaxation and enjoyment.  Inevitably, this sense is derived from the activities within the setting.  Park buildings must be designed so that the park is the most important element, not the building.  Both the individual and the community benefit from these opportunities through improved health, social interaction and a sense of community.

A specialty within this area of expertise is aquatic facility design.  TLBA has been at the forefront of innovative aquatic design for nearly two decades. In that time, we have designed facilities that range from small wading pools and splash pads to large competition and recreation venues. While the complexities of aquatic facility design are significant, our approach to the design of all athletic and recreation design is similar and is borne of a thorough understanding of the program goals of the institution providing the athletic or recreational opportunities.  In today’s aquatic environment, we recognize that our success is dependent upon many things – meeting the challenge of providing designs that enhance the aquatic experience, providing safe environments for users and staff, and designing facilities that are durable, flexible and operational for many years.

People are, at their core, social beings.  The desire to congregate, play, socialize and compete has been documented with hieroglyphics on cave walls as early as 3200 BC.   Organized sports can be traced to the first Olympiad in 776 BC, when organizers recognized the societal benefits of competition.  While much has changed since that time, the core needs of individuals have not and TLBA is proud to play a role in this generation’s athletic and recreational endeavors.

Our Athletics, Recreation, and Aquatics Clients:

  • Higher Education
  • State Government
  • Municipalities
  • Private Companies
  • Golf Clubs
  • Private Clubs

Our Athletics, Recreation, and Aquatics Project Experience:

  • Competitive venues
  • Recreational venues
  • Parks and leisure spaces
  • Splash Pads
  • Swimming Pools
  • Multi-use facilities
  • Camp and park structures
  • Public and private golf clubs

Our Athletics, Recreation, and Aquatics Project Approach

…is collaborative
The design of a facility used for athletics or recreation is as participant-driven as the event itself.  Not taking into consideration all stakeholders, including participants, officials, organizers, staff, spectators, and maintainers, will result in missed opportunities.  Also to be considered is the impact of the project on the community.  Whether the project is publicly funded or not, a development the scale of an athletic facility or park will most certainly raise questions over increased traffic, noise, light pollution or other quality of life and property value concerns.  Through public outreach and communication, we are able to communicate how thoughtful design can mitigate those concerns and, in many cases, describe how the development can improve the quality of life, rather than detract from it.

…is creative, flexible and responsible
Athletic and recreation facilities often change use daily, sometimes hourly.  Thoughtful design can provide flexible space that is equally appropriate for a variety of activities.  In addition to programmatic requirements, the volumes and special climate-controlled environment required of many athletic spaces require a special attention to detail, as the energy consumption and durability of the buildings can be overwhelming, if not well considered.  Our rigorous and creative design approach is paramount to creating long-lifecycle, functional and sustainable works of architecture.


“Architecture is my delight…it is an enthusiasm of which I am not ashamed, as its object is to improve the taste of my countrymen, to increase their reputation, to reconcile them to the rest of the world, and to procure them its praise.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1791

At a time when the need to invest in public infrastructure is growing, resources are shrinking.  Federal, State and Municipal officials are charged with being stewards of the public dollar, and the cost of Public Works projects is often daunting, and gaining broad support is difficult.  Even when there is consensus on need, decisions are all too often based on budget alone.  As a result, worthwhile and necessary projects are abandoned, deferred or proceed based on first-cost only.  TLBA understands these challenges and partners with clients to advocate for quality architecture and thoughtful design of public places and buildings.  This partnership begins with public outreach and communication steeped in a deep understanding of all stakeholders’ needs and concerns.

Quality design and Architecture have the ability to improve a community’s quality of life.  Public places belong to the community and many communities are identified by the best of these places as much as they are by their geography and people.  Historically, entire civilizations have been immortalized by their civic structures.   These grand gestures stand not as a monument to power, but as a demonstration of civic pride and a message that the community as a whole is worth the investment.

Public institutions exist to serve the people.  These same institutions provide places for the people to serve the community.  Buildings for the administration of government, public safety, education, research and entertainment coexist with parks and public spaces that provide much needed leisure and recreational opportunities.  Public Works facilities, waste handling and treatment plants provide basic infrastructure to allow a safe, functional and sustainable community.  Churches, meeting houses and other gathering spaces allow connections for citizens over generations.

TLBA is proud of our track record assisting communities realize their vision for improved public infrastructure.

Our Civic Clients:

  • Federal Government
  • State Government
  • Municipal Government
  • Professional Engineers
  • Churches
  • Private Cultural Institutions

Our Civic Project Experience:

  • City/Town Halls
  • Public Safety Facilities
  • Museums
  • Community and Senior Centers
  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Parks and Public Spaces
  • Wastewater Treatment Facilities
  • Public Works Facilities

Our Civic Architecture Project Approach

… is collaborative
Public outreach and communication is at the core of all of our publicly funded projects.  Understanding the impact of a proposed project on the community as a whole, as well as specific impacts on certain individuals or groups, allows us to meet the challenges of balancing the community’s aspirations, available resources and political challenges.  Each project has a unique set of challenges and each community differs in a number of regards.  As such, our public outreach, though methodical and inclusive, is not “one size fits all”.  We customize the approach to the specific needs of the community, which allows us to gain consensus on a project approach.

…embraces the firmly held belief that Architecture matters.  
At their core, buildings exist to provide shelter.  They provide shelter for functions that require protection from the elements.  They provide basic security and reasonable comfort.  All buildings must provide for these basic requirements, but that is not Architecture.  Architecture lives at the intersection of science and art, and has the ability to move its users in a way that a mere building cannot.  It can remember the past, accommodate the present and give hope for the future.   Even the most fiscally prudent citizen can identify the difference between a building and a work of Architecture, whether or not they can articulate that difference.  Architecture and building within a budget are not mutually exclusive.  TLBA’s design process and collaborative style of working routinely results in Public Places that exist because communities took an interest in the design and feel pride in the outcome.

Higher Education

“Education is a social process; education is growth, education is not a preparation for life but is life itself.”
John Dewey

Colleges and Universities are the engines that drive advancement in society.  Environments for higher education must embody the vision of the institution while responding to the requirements of the individuals using the space.  Whether part of a private college or a public university, educational spaces must benefit the individual, while serving the collective.  At TLBA, we believe that design for buildings that are part of a campus fabric must recognize a responsibility to a larger community, while belonging to its time and clearly projecting its uniqueness and purpose.  Our well designed campus facilities have improved faculty, administration, and most importantly, student success rates through better environments in which to live, learn and teach.

Our Higher Education Facilities include:

  • Classrooms
  • Teaching & Research Labs
  • Distance Learning Facilities
  • Academic Support
  • Faculty Offices
  • Lecture Halls & Auditoriums
  • Student Life Facilities
  • Campus Infrastructure
  • Athletic Facilities

Our Higher Education Project Approach

… is collaborative
The best environments result from participation in the design process by many, rather than few. We actively seek input from all project stakeholders including administration, faculty, students and operations/maintenance personnel.  We have developed inclusive methods for this process, whether it involves a small group conference or elaborate community design workshops.  Our internal project management process is equally rigorous and collaborative.  Our design process allows individual expertise to be leveraged for the common good, resulting in functional, aspirational and sustainable facilities that are comfortable and cost-effective.

…is cognitive
To create educational environments of long-term viability, diverse groups must come together in support of a common objective.  Over time, we’ve developed the leadership skills necessary to coalesce these groups and individuals and build consensus around organizing ideas. We’ve developed effective standardized tools and processes for gathering program requirements. While we’ve designed many educational facilities, we remain inquisitive and determined to learn something new about the academic area, pedagogies, and people that will influence the project’s successful outcome.

Masterplan & Studies

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future”.
George Bernard Shaw

TLB Architecture assists both public and private sector clients, through a dynamic and rigorous design process, to respond to the challenges that must inform the future of their town, main street, campus, park or individual building asset.  Key to the process is striking a balance between envisioning what might be possible, and what is likely to be achievable, in large part through the identification of opportunities and constraints. As team leader on multi-disciplined projects, we’ve developed revitalization plans, restoration plans, addressed parking, traffic calming, vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems and identified sites for future expansion; all in support of our clients’ goals for economic development, campus/facility expansion or restoration, and all in alignment with our passion for placemaking.  We have completed numerous master planning, feasibility studies and facility assessment projects for various historic buildings, municipal facilities, town centers, college and university buildings, and institutional clients that were successful in proceeding to the implementation phase, many funded through Federal or State Grants.

Our Planning and Studies have included:

  • Killingworth Town Center Master Plan
  • Master Plan for Brixton Street Public Works Complex, Town of West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Near & Long Range Plan for West Hartford Police Headquarters
  • Feasibility Study & Conceptual Design for New Kent Fire Station
  • Master Plan for Conard High School Modernization, West Hartford Public Schools — West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Master Plan for Life Safety, Modernization Improvements & Additions to Eastern Point Elementary School
  • Groton Public Schools — Groton, Connecticut
  • Fair Oaks Community Center Change of Occupancy Code Review
  • Town of Montville, Connecticut
  • Master Plan for East Haven Department of Public Works
  • Farmington Town Hall Facility Assessment & Renovations
  • Glastonbury Town Hall Assessment & Renovations
  • Near & Long Range Plan for New Britain Public Library
  • Master Plan for the Office of Radio and Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford
  • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Building Assessment
  • East Haddam, Connecticut
  • Fairfield University Natatorium Structural Analysis
  • Adel R. Coccomo Continuing Care Retirement Center Study
  • Electric Boat Division: Engineering Office Building Study
  • General Dynamics Corporation — Groton, Connecticut


TLBA’s ability to provide our clients with a meaningful professional service depends on the passion, energy and talent of our staff.


TLBA’s unwavering commitment to design excellence is evident in a diverse body of work.

Working with TLBA

If you're interested in partnering with us on an upcoming project, we'd love to hear from you.