Clark Atlanta University, Environmental Science and Technology Research Center

Atlanta, Georgia

This building is situated prominently on the university’s historic quadrangle. Its small, 13,000-square-foot footprint (three levels) includes limited faculty offices, teaching assistant’s workstations, and ancillary spaces without classrooms, but features generous, state-of-the-art laboratories and a distance-learning center. The entrance rotunda, laboratories, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$160.85FEATURED IN2007 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized vestibule, stairs and public lobby/gallery receive natural light. The efficiently designed laboratories feature a basement high-bay experimentation area. Phase II will add the fourth and fifth floors, a new entrance and offices.

The exceptionally long, narrow site constrains vehicular and public access, and requires alignment on two floors with the adjacent building. The palette is limited to rouge-colored brick and tan precast concrete. In response to the footprint, the building’s massing allows for major elements to be expressed. Those include the generously fenestrated first-floor entrance rotunda, upper lobby and gallery, and a stepped transparent corner stair vestibule and tower.

The building celebrates the fact that it exists solely for research through honest expression. The basement clerestory windows allow sunlight in, and passersby can observe experimentation below.