The Fred M. Keller Engineering Laboratories respond to Grand Valley State University’s request for a “living” laboratory for students in its Padnos School of Engineering program. The building is part of a growing urban campus, and is designed to serve as a university and community-learning tool. Flexible and exposed study environments foster creativity.
The two-story CAPACITY402COST PER SQ FT$124.00FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio engages student design, testing and development. It includes co-op opportunities with local industry representatives, and operates 24 hours a day.
The structural system has an exposed steel frame with expansive glass construction at the exterior walls and circulation spaces. A roof-level experimentation deck is cantilevered off the building edge to identify its presence and support outdoor lab work. The building is organized around a central circulation spine with adjacent specialty lab spaces to support interactive work and con-ferencing.
Natural light provides community views during the day; at night the building is transformed into an illuminating urban presence that showcases students at work.
Interactive heating and cooling controls, and exposed power/data distribution add to the space’s flexibility.