This laboratory, office and classroom addition provides growth space for the College of Natural Resources and the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The final building was master-planned for a research precinct, so the Jordan Hall addition addresses several campus planning concerns, including the existing patterns of pedestrian and CAPACITY875COST PER SQ FT$243.90FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio circulation, and the impact on the environment. The addition not only is a “gateway” project, but also projects the university’s image to its Centennial Campus. The building was identified as a pilot project for sustainable design and was crafted to meet regional high-performance guidelines.
During the concept-discovery stages, the faculty representatives indicated that the most difficult concept for students and others to grasp is the dynamic and cyclical occurrence of natural events. An existing garden immediately west of Jordan Hall and Biltmore Hall attempted to demonstrate this process of forest succession. This notion presented the designers with a rich opportunity to create an analogue between species succession, resulting in a forest and a series of successive learning experiences culminating in education. The concept of “succession” was explored both formally, as a scaled timeline that then was mapped onto the site, and conceptually, as a way of describing relationships among outdoor spaces.