R&D Magazine has bestowed this year’s annual Lab of the Year award upon the Ballinger-designed Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. This prestigious awards program is an international competition recognizing excellence in laboratory design. Situated at the heart of the University of Wisonsin-Madison campus, this unique 330,000 SF biomedical research facility is home to twin institutes, the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and the public Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. To engage both the local and campus community with the science happening in the building, an unusually large part of the program is dedicated to public activity. A ground floor Town Center serves as a civic science place and a living room for the surrounding science and engineering campus quadrant. The secure research floors located above the public realm embrace the concepts of transparency and openness to promote interaction, collaboration and discovery within the lab environment.