The principle objective of the Energy Sciences Building was to create a high performance facility that enables energy research towards practical and significant achievements that will change the world’s production and consumption of energy. In alignment with Argonne’s research mission, as well as the projects conducted in the ESB, it was important that it be energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable: It is tracking LEED Gold.
The new ESB is a sorely needed, adaptable, high-performance modern facility focused on energy research. It changes the departmental organization and “fiefdom” culture to a problem-based interdisciplinary culture, encouraging shared functions to promote interaction and collaboration. It is a showcase facility that we will use to help recruit the best and the brightest scientists in the country.
Aesthetically, the design establishes a new architectural vocabulary which relates to the existing campus but is modern and expressive of contemporary science. Its form helps to create a new Energy Quad, ushering in the transformation of a vehicular-campus to a pedestrian-friendly “academic” campus. Prominently located near the entrance to the north campus, the ESB will be seen by almost everyone visiting Argonne, giving us a new, modern image expressive of Argonne’s contributions to some of the great advances in science today.