Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, STEM Collaboratory

Blacksburg, Virginia

  • FIRM



    Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University | School of Education

  • AREA

    3,230 sq.ft.





What was once an 80-year-old woodshop is now a progressive, adaptable environment for the development of new teaching paradigms in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Before its transformation, the STEM Collaboratory was an unused workshop, complete with too-high ceilings, a paint booth and mezzanine for wood storage, and office and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMAnne Durkin Design StudioCOST PER SQ FT$187.62FEATURED IN2014 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation space. After gutting the space, designers were left with one large, empty shell. The design strategy? Create distinct learning spaces for the widespread needs of the school’s STEM education program.

The result is one part computer lab, one part science lab. On one side of a custom-designed, builtin wall and door system is a modern, exploratory workshop for hands-on STEM education activities. The other side of the classroom features a high-tech computer and science lab complete with touch screen computers and tables and 3D printing capabilities.

Part of the interior renovation included new HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems; new lab casework; multiple power and data locations for increased flexibility of furniture and equipment layout; and a chemical fume hood and a laminar flow hood.

Outfitted with the latest in computing, science, and fabrication technologies, the STEM Collaboratory is a model design for repurposing an outdated environment into an engaging educational space fit to support the evolving needs of Virginia Tech’s innovative STEM education program.