Torrey View: Clark Delivers a Cutting-Edge Hub for Scientific Innovation and Collaboration on an Accelerated Schedule

June 27, 2024

Torrey View Aerial

Nestled within San Diego’s vibrant life sciences community, Torrey View is a new world-class commercial life sciences research campus that redefines the boundary between scientific exploration and workplace excellence. In partnership with Breakthrough Properties, a life science real estate investment company, and Flad Architects, Clark delivered the premier, work-and-play development with completed amenities.

Spread over a 10-acre site, the project consists of three life science research buildings, plus a two-story tenant clubhouse. The entire development was 100% pre-leased before the project’s final delivery. Buildings A and B are core-and-shell and designed to support future build out by tenants.

Building C contains a complete laboratory build-out for the global Becton Dickinson Biosciences group and was delivered at the same time as the core-and-shell campus in October 2023. Along with the tenant clubhouse, building C is connected to four levels of below-grade parking topped by open green spaces with native plants, pedestrian and bicycle pathways, and outdoor gathering areas.

Each building is thoughtfully placed and designed to preserve views of the Pacific Ocean from the interiors, outdoor terraces, and landscaped plaza. The buildings’ exterior design features stepped coffers in the façade and varied windows in natural tessellation patterns, emulating Torrey Pines’ surrounding cliffs and landscape. High-end interior spaces feature intricate drywall reveal details, elaborate millwork, specialized glazing systems, open ceiling spaces, and sound attenuation details in conference rooms.

The Torrey View development is designed as a full-service campus with places to work, socialize, and unwind without leaving the premises. Tenants enjoy high-end amenities, including multiple dining options, bike and surfboard storage, a fitness center with sliding doors that open to a pickleball court and landscaped courtyard, and more.


Tenant Amenities Clubhouse

The tenant clubhouse features a coffee shop that opens into the adjacent green spaces.

Completing this massive campus on a fast-paced schedule was one of the project’s greatest feats, with design, permitting, and construction all completed within three years. Contracted before the design was complete, Clark worked with the client and the city to break up permitting packages to allow crews to start on earlier phases of work. Rather than waiting for the entire building permit package, the project team received a foundations and frame permit for 75% of the campus and began work while the design was still underway. This staggered approach was integral to expediting work throughout multiple phases of the project.

Clark and the design team collaborated to determine that structural steel would allow for the quickest construction and avoid the time-consuming process of pouring large amounts of concrete. The team later benefited even more from this decision during a global cement shortage in the middle of the project. Clark worked with Coffman Engineers, the structural engineer, and the designers to determine how to make building C, a five-story laboratory space on top of a four-story, below-grade parking structure, all structural steel from the bottom of the garage to the top, allowing the team to come out of the foundation hole more efficiently.

Though construction started in 2021 during the worst COVID-19-related material delays, the team successfully managed critical long-lead materials and mitigated several manufacturing delays to avoid impacting project completion. Clark brought on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design-build trades early to facilitate the advanced release of long-lead equipment, such as generators, switchgear, air handling units, chillers, and cooling towers. Also, Clark and Coffman accelerated the steel design to procure all of the project’s steel before the full project design was complete to avoid gaps in the schedule due to material shortages.

Flad’s design included a cementitious-looking façade with intricate stepped panels and rectangular windows behind a curved opening. Early in project development, the Clark team analyzed various façade composition options that would achieve both the design intent and schedule requirements. The team selected precast glass fiber reinforced concrete panels that were full floor height and up to 33 feet wide with the majority pre-glazed, facilitating a speedier installation compared to a traditional stick-built façade system.


Torrey View Facade

The unique façade features intricate stepped panels and rectangular windows behind a curved opening.

“This project is a testament to meticulous planning and unwavering dedication from the entire team of design consultants, trade partners, Clark, and Breakthrough Properties,” said Clark Project Executive Lindey Bjorklund. “We laid the foundation for new research spaces, erecting structures that are designed to support scientific breakthroughs in bioscience and medical technology. Every aspect of this campus, from the articulations in the stepped façade to the building geometry, high-end campus amenities, and green spaces, was methodically designed and coordinated in parallel with maintaining a very fast-paced project delivery.”

Every aspect of this campus, from the articulations in the stepped façade to the building geometry, high-end campus amenities, and green spaces, was methodically designed and coordinated in parallel with maintaining a very fast-paced project delivery.”

Lindey Bjorklund, Project Executive, Clark Construction

During construction, Breakthrough Properties leased building C to Becton Dickinson. Already representing the longest path in the schedule, it now featured a full tenant build-out to be completed within the same timeline. Clark partnered with CRB, a general contractor and designer specializing in life science spaces, to perform the 200,000-square-foot build-out. Features include chemistry, manufacturing, and research and development laboratories, light-sensitive rooms for developing medical imaging injectables, cold and freezer storage, and laboratory casework. Despite the additional scope, the project team received the temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) for the tenant improvements the same day the building received its TCO.


Becton Dickinson Lab Space

Becton Dickinson's lab space features light-sensitive rooms for developing medical imaging injectables, fume hoods, cold storage, and more.

“Clark tackled this very complex project at a time of unprecedented and unique challenges in the construction industry,” said Sarah Williams, senior director of design and construction for Breakthrough Properties. “From dealing with the global pandemic’s lingering effects on manpower to shortages in critical elements needed for construction – including concrete, generators, transformers – and a challenging permit schedule, Clark worked with Breakthrough Properties to find solutions to mitigate delays, reducing schedule extensions from nine months to four months. The Clark team moved nimbly and adapted to address these challenges head-on to help Breakthrough deliver on their flagship campus, Torrey View by Breakthrough.”