The Vassar College Bridge for Laboratory Sciences Building (VBLS) is a new multi-disciplinary wet lab building that redefines the identity of the sciences on Vassar College’s Arcadian campus. The building acts as a transformative campus connector, bridging two sides of the campus, divided by a creek, as well as connecting the sciences to the wetland habitat.
Within the building, the sciences are in sight, exposing students from all disciplines to the exciting science occurring in the building. As such, the building reflects Vassar’s goal to expose undergraduate students to the sciences and facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration. VBLS draws students from all disciplines into the building with appealing spaces like the café, the outdoor terrace, classrooms, informal seating and studying spaces. Interactive features like hallway blackboards encourage spontaneous collaboration.
Design throughout the VBLS breaks down the old divide between classroom and lab and features many new integrated scientific spaces where instruction, experimentation and discovery can be fluidly accomplished. The facilities ensure that Vassar students will continue to learn in a current and dynamic hands-on environment, and that they equip the Vassar faculty to teach and conduct research to the best of their abilities, while encouraging faculty-student interaction. The flexible design ensures that the facilities will accommodate future teaching and learning demands.
The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences exemplifies the integration of a state-of-the-art new building design into a campus with a rich fabric of historic architecture and landscape. A living laboratory, the building is a reflection of Vassar's history of science, research and environmental advocacy, and of the symbiotic relationship between the scientists and the landscape in which they study.