1 Atrium Stair
2 Student Life
1 Atrium Stair
3 Residence Halls
4 Biological Sciences
5 Academic Campus
Serving as both a destination and a crossroads for the campus, the atrium engages pedestrians at the ground level. With numerous paths connected to paired, crossing stairs, the atrium extends student routes and corridors throughout the building. Horizontal and vertical circulation culminates at the center of student activity.
Efficiency and safety are paramount for laboratory environments designed for maximized student occupancy. Optimized for throughput of students as well as utilization of spaces, the building design includes designated service corridors for chemical distribution that keep these materials separate from students and others traveling in the public corridors.
2 Lecture Hall
4 Communicating Atrium Stair
5 Informal Student Space
6 Office Suite
8 Teaching Lab
9 Teaching Lab Prep
10 Learning Center
11 Shared Imaging Facility
12 Future Research
13 Service Center
14 Loading Dock
Formal and informal student spaces occupy locations adjacent to, underneath and above the TEAL rooms, constructing a variety of areas for students to study or wait for their next class to begin.
Pairing labs side-by-side creates a scalable environment. Labs are separated by a perforated partitions that allow access to adjoining labs.
Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building
Lexington, KY / United States
TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE
Tracking LEED Silver
The Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building includes state-of-the-art undergraduate teaching laboratories as well as a range of spaces that encourage discovery and support problem-based learning. Programs include chemistry, biology and neuroscience facilities, technology enhanced active learning (TEAL) environments, 200- and 300-seat tiered lecture halls, classrooms and learning center spaces that collectively support the building’s collaborative aspirations, serving 35,000 students a year. Located at the corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive, the Science Building occupies a busy site that serves as a campus gateway and a point of connection between the university’s academic core, medical campus and student residential district.
How does a large state university create a cost-effective STEM education space for its large student body that encompasses interactive learning approaches used by advanced private universities and small liberal arts colleges? The design had to successfully “scale-up” this prototypical learning environment type to accommodate the massive numbers of students enrolled in STEM courses. Furthermore, the design needed to provide the rich variety of architectural settings and experiences expected of a 21st century undergraduate science center.
The Science Building is roughly U-shaped, with a large central atrium that connects two perpendicular wings. Featuring an open double staircase at its center, the atrium functions as the primary building connector to programs at all levels. Simultaneously, the atrium serves as the intersection of campus pathways that filter through the building, linking to significant campus areas both north and south.
Throngs of students travel through the public corridor on their way through campus and through the building, on their way to the classrooms, lecture halls and labs. TEAL rooms punctuate the three-story atrium space, carefully configured to accommodate formal and informal student spaces beneath. The service corridor, a significant safety benefit for a building with such intensive student occupancy, connects to the service elevator, chemical storage and lab preparatory spaces to support the teaching labs without crossing into the public realm.
The atrium and extensive glazing bring natural light and visual transparency to the varied spaces within the Science Building. The exterior brick envelope draws inspiration from the unusual brick detailing seen on many existing campus buildings, which were designed by Ernst Johnson (classmate of Eero Saarinen). The new design incorporates a family of simple, custom-shaped bricks to create a unique, seemingly woven facade. Parallelogram-shaped piers optimize visual connection to and from the building. Evoking classical proportions and clad in terracotta, the piers appear solid by day and partially transparent at night, further emphasizing the building’s interior activity and its connections with the larger campus.
Architect-of-Record: JRA Architects
Photography: © Warren Jagger
KEY TEAM MEMBERS
James H. Collins, Jr., FAIA, LEED AP