The objective for the design of this laboratory, classroom and office building was to combine seven multi-user lab facilities comprising the core of a new Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications into one building, as well as to provide research labs for the physics department.
The design places vibration-sensitive labs on the lowest level to minimize COST PER SQ FT$216.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio transfer of structural vibration into extremely sensitive equipment. Many labs on this level were placed below existing grade to allow for ease in controlling their interior temperatures. A few classrooms are placed on this level to minimize traffic through the top two levels populated by research labs and faculty offices. A formal on-grade entry on the southeast side of this level faces the main campus and allows for ease of orientation into the classroom level and activation of the building both at this entry and at a formal lobby facing onto a courtyard. Light-sensitive labs were situated around this central courtyard on the upper level and cantilever over the courtyard to form an arcade at the lower two levels. The cleanroom, which operates under amber lighting conditions, is on the north wall of the third level. This allowed the building to face toward the courtyard on the east and west sides and to remain relatively closed in terms of fenestration. The interior courtyard faces south and functions as an outdoor gathering space. Cleanroom labs and wet chemistry labs are on the highest level and separated in a wing from the vibration-sensitive lab part of the building.