The 689 acre (2.79 km²) campus features a 900 foot (270 m) long, arc-shaped main building—designed by noted architect Rafael Viñoly— known as the Landscape Building. The building, 270 feet (82 m) deep at the ground floor, is built into a hill and designed to be the primary research facility.
Janelia farm was designed to emulate the unconstrained and collaborative environments at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Cambridge's Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Researchers are on six-year contracts and fully internally funded, independent of traditional research grant funding.
Gerald M. Rubin is the first president and director of Janelia Farm, and saw it from concept through construction to operation.