Visible while driving Interstate 101, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, located in Novato, was designed by I.M. Pei, one of the world’s most revered architects, who passed away at 102.
Known primarily for his glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, which he considered “the most important commission” of his life, the Pritzker Prize-winning designer also built some lesser-known works, including the Buck Institute in Marin County.
Using geometric shapes and floating staircases, which can be found throughout the administrative and research buildings, the Buck Institute is highlighted by a semi-circular main building butting up against a triangular one. The triangle theme continues with the skylights and in the courtyard, which is punctuated with a lawn and two sets of trees in the same shape. A Y-shaped building, found on the other side of the courtyard, completes the institute, and is accessible by a long and winding road from the highway.
Completed in 1999, the biomedical research facility, which researches aging and age-related disease, is home to the largest publicly available stem cell bank in the world.
Read more about the modernist architect’s lasting legacy over at Curbed.