Looking to accommodate growth along with new academic programs, and driven to consolidate the science and mathematics programs under one roof, the design team proposed an addition/renovation of the existing center. The project transforms an outdated building into a state-of-the-art science facility that revitalizes the heart of the main campus and defines new green spaces which contribute to improving the campus.
The University built their previous science center in 1964. Since then, the number of full-time students increased ten-fold. The project needed to accommodate this growth and support new programs with vastly different pedagogy. This demanded an innovative concept that would collocate the sciences and math in an interactive environment and transform the science center into a hub of student life and educational activity. The challenge was to create this science center as a visible and integral component of the campus on a site occupied by the pre-existing science building.
The solution demolishes one wing of the existing L-shaped building; gut renovates the remaining wing and creates a major addition. This design provides a beautiful environment for interaction on all levels. In addition, the project creates a vital new campus green shared by the existing campus center and library. Entrances at the three wings integrate the complex into the network of campus paths and expose the campus community to “science on display.”
As a publicly funded institution, the University had very tight budget requirements. All decisions, selections and strategies needed to be both elegant and cost-effective. The design team developed a two phase approach which placed the major technical infrastructure for the complex in the new addition. This consolidation, coupled with thoughtful right-sizing, allowed programs to relocate to the new addition. This approach minimized the cost of temporary conditions and double program moves, focusing resources where they had long-term effectiveness.