Situated in the heart of the campus, this 124,000-square-foot building fosters collaborative teaching and research by bringing together the departments of chemistry and physics into one building. The building features state-of-the-art teaching and research labs, a high-energy detector lab, a super-computer lab, a nanotechnology lab, faculty offices, conference rooms and COST PER SQ FT$270.96FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio digital 168-seat planetarium that also functions as a lecture hall.
The digital nature of the planetarium allows the College of Sciences to use this room as a teaching space for astronomy, anatomy and the general sciences. The planetarium is used frequently for teaching children from local school districts, and it has become an after-hours educational/entertainment venue for the campus.
The departments of chemistry and physics each were given half of the total usable square footage. To promote a collaborative scientific environment, each floor has an equal amount of space dedicated to each department. The faculty offices for both departments are in one area for similar reasons.
Informal gathering spaces and exterior balconies are situated throughout the building to foster opportunities for interaction and the exchange of ideas. Research and teaching spaces for both departments were mixed together on each floor so students can observe the direct research application of the lessons learned in their teaching labs.
The offices and labs are organized into three houses that reduce the scale of the exterior massing to be respectful of older adjacent buildings, while allowing smaller zones of collaborative interaction within the building.
A three-story lobby atrium unifies the floors vertically and provides waiting and exhibit space for the planetarium. This space also functions as the central gathering space for the College of Sciences.
Exterior materials include brick, limestone panels and accents, and metal panels. Interior finishes include terrazzo floors, limestone, brick, ceramic tile and vinyl tile.