Transparency and Interconnectivity
From overall organization to detailing, the design promotes transparency and interaction. Most of the activity in the Science Center is visible to the College through the glass walls of the commons. The spaces within enjoy powerful views back to the campus and intimate visual connections to one another. Research and teaching laboratories are structured to support both subject-based foundational instruction and interdisciplinary exploration, while classrooms are adapted to new pedagogies and active learning, to serve students from across the campus. A network of community spaces at various scales strengthens the close student-to-student and student-to-faculty relationships that are the hallmark of Amherst’s science education.
Unifying Skylit Roof
The distinctive roof, covering the multi-story, glass-enclosed commons, is the building’s primary unifying feature. Finely crafted skylights run the length of the building, animating the roof form and enhancing the quality of daylight within. The roof performs many functions simultaneously. It provides both natural and artificial light, its photovoltaic panels generate electricity, its shape and materials afford acoustic control, and it radiantly heats and cools the commons.
Photography: © Chuck Choi