New laboratory buildings are currently being planned all around the world. Are they different from or even better than their predecessors? To answer this question, the authors of this book have journeyed into the past and present of laboratory architecture. They discuss the images of the research scientist and the laboratory that have been purveyed since the natural sciences were institutionalised in the nineteenth century. They also examine contemporary architectural solutions in the light of influential laboratory architectures of the latter half of the twentieth century, thereby discovering a great variety of approaches, historical and contemporary – for both the functional interrelation of spaces and the tension between symbolic faades and internal structures can take very different forms.