A Flowing River
Connections play a significant role in the transformation of the sciences. To build such connections, the Shapiro Science Center unifies and transforms an unfriendly collection of existing, mid-twentieth-century buildings and plazas. The project is defined by a multi-level, multi-sided pedestrian “River” that cascades from Upper Campus to Lower Campus, opening the sciences to the rest of the University. Smaller estuaries and pools flow into the river from undergraduate classrooms, atrium, café and Midway Lounge.
The River is where the material palette of the building is its most expressive, with interior and exterior systems entwined. Four new landscape precincts make up the exterior system. Red Square — the formerly barren plaza atop the Science Library, becomes the inviting Petri Dish Gardens. Bio-Exchange Court is a regenerative machine for water retention and irrigation; the Amphitheatre recaptures the area’s former identity as a ceremonial gathering space; and the Forecourt offers a sweeping lawn for outdoor activities.
Photography: © Warren Jagger Photography; © Payette, Images by Rachellynn Schoen