Washington and Lee University, Science Center

Lexington, Virginia

  • FIRM

    Payette Associates


    Washington and Lee University

  • AREA

    183,000 sq.ft.





The new science center at Washington and Lee University comprises a major new infill building linking two existing renovated science buildings, unifying the undergraduate science disciplines into one modern facility.

The center is organized around a central circulation spine and Great Hall, providing access to all six science departments, and the new central ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY500COST PER SQ FT$108.00FEATURED IN1998 Architectural Portfolio library, which provides a common focal point for the center.

New teaching laboratories are integrated with faculty research laboratories, offices and support space, and special attention to transparency between the teaching and research spaces encourages faculty to be accessible to the students at all levels.

The Great Hall was included in the program on the suggestion of the architect, and the hall has quickly become a popular space for performances, concerts, weddings, choirs and other gatherings.

The project was completed in a three-stage phasing strategy that eliminated double moves and renovation around occupied space. The scheduling of the construction around the academic calendar with summer moves allowed for minimal interruption of ongoing classes. The addition also provides handicapped accessibility on the primary level of an unusually hilly campus.


Photographer: ©Jonathan Hilber