Pennsylvania State University Chemistry Research & Life Sciences Buildings
University Park, PA / United States
Total Square Footage
177,523 GSF Chemistry Building
161,518 GSF Life Sciences Building
Animal Research, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Instrumentation, Mass Spectroscopy, Neuroscience, Plant Research, Synthetic Chemistry, Toxicology, Animal Facility, Greenhouse, Laser Lab, NMR, Research Labs, Teaching Labs
This complex is a rich combination of classrooms and research laboratories for the chemistry and life sciences departments. The project initially began as two separate commissions, and eventually grew together as a single structure, framing a signature campus space. Linked by an above-grade connection that forms a "gateway to the sciences," the combined buildings enhance the culture of interdisciplinary research at this university.
The gateway houses a range of common meeting spaces for formal and informal gatherings and is the centerpiece of the organization behind the 330,000 SF structure. The gateway is sited at the head of Shortlidge Mall, a new pedestrian mall located between the Life Sciences and Chemistry Research Buildings that was once a busy campus road. Each building defines its own unique courtyard.
The plan is organized around a transparent spine that flows in the east-west direction. This spine organizes both the inside and outside spaces with a grade-level arcade along the courtyard of the Chemistry Research Building that extends into the monumental colonnade at the head of the Shortlidge Mall and into the Life Sciences Building. On the inside, the spine takes the shape of a single corridor laced with an intricate network of communicating stairs, the two-story gateway at the center and lounges at the ends.
Joint Venture with Bower Lewis Thrower Architects.
Photography: © Warren Jagger Photography