Suffolk County Community College, Life Science Building

Selden, New York

Significant enrollment growth has prompted an expansion at Suffolk County Community College. A design competition was held for the design of a new life sciences building, and this is the winning entry.

The building is in the construction document phase, striving for LEED gold certification. It is to be a "flagship" ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$366.00FEATURED IN2011 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Work in ProgressSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress that attracts students to spend time within its walls, either for class or for socialization. The circulation system and central indoor amphitheater have been designed as common areas that enable formal and informal instruction, as as well provide places for students and faculty to interact with one another in a non-classroom setting.

Sustainable materials and building systems show themselves on the interior. Building systems data are available at kiosks situated at the central elevator shaft, showing HVAC systems activity, electrical use and the amount of energy being stored from sunlight for later use to light the common areas at night. This technology enables users to interact with the building and to understand it as an "organism."

The intention was to use the building as a metaphor for the subject matter taught within it, and to facilitate engaging conversation among its users in comfortable environments provided for them both in and out of the classrooms.