| Architecture Studies Library
Entry number: OC07030
The HeLa Cell is known in the field of stem cell research as an immortal cell since it was the first human cell to live and reproduce indefinitely outside the body (the original cells taken from their namesake, Henrietta Lacks in 1951 are still alive today and are used throughout the world for all kinds of cellular and medical research). The HeLa cell is a metaphor for a cellular approach to knitting back together the fabric of a city through higher density and urban infill. The proportions of simple shipping containers were used as the cellular module that informs everything in the design from rooms to courtyards to community & borrowed outdoor spaces. This cellular/modular approach is a highly efficient means to integrate dignified and healthy affordable housing with the critical aspects of sustainability and maximum flexibility.
Dr. Gey had spent almost 30 years collecting cancerous human cells and trying to make them grow, but until Ms. Lacks came along, they never did. Though Henrietta died a few months after her radium treatments, her cells are still living today. Henrietta's cells - named HeLa after the first letters in Henrietta and Lacks -became the first human cells to live indefinitely outside the body. They helped eradicate polio, flew in early space shuttle missions and sat in nuclear test sites around the world. In the 50's, HeLa cells helped researchers understand the differences between cancerous and normal cells, and quickly became a standard laboratory tool for studying the effects of radiation, growing viruses and testing medications. HeLa is still one of the most widely used cell lines; in fact, this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for research in which '-leLa cells played a pivotal role.
Light and Air:
Long life, Loose fit:
Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos
These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.