The original Heavy Engineering Building was constructed in the late 1960s and housed a number of teaching programs, along with major research programs financed by government and private industry sources. However, as the program grew, serious space shortages hampered the facility’s research and educational capabilities.
To alleviate these shortcomings, the architect FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio a 45,000-square-foot addition and renovated the existing 68,000-square-foot building. The addition houses soft labs, hard labs, a 6,000-square-foot high-bay thermal spray lab and administrative offices. The addition also includes a new aluminum and glass entry atrium and staff/student lounges on two floors.
The addition is to the southwest of the original building, so it does not encroach on the Engineering Quad.
The entrance is on the Engineering Quad and its broad cantilevered canopy was designed to recall the canopy at the adjacent old engineering building. The curtainwall of the entrance includes patterned, frosted glass, offering a varied play of light on the interior and giving depth to the facade. Surrounding the entrance is the curtainwall of the administrative spaces, which curves back in a nod to a major pedestrian path.