IDEAL LAB

A makerspace for all students on campus that provides a collaborative and active learning environment. Large glass openings in the façade bring “science on display” to the forefront of the project.

The exterior space on the lower levels of the building extend the public space of the campus walk and lawn through a pair of amphitheaters and a paved Plaza. A café located on the most public corner serves both the building and the general campus population, providing a much needed point of social interaction and intellectual exchange. 

Skidmore College
Center for Integrated Sciences

LOCATION
Saratoga Springs, NY / United States

TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE
115,800 GSF New Construction
83,400 GSF Renovation

PROGRAM COMPONENTS
Biomolecular Science and Cell Biology, Field Methods (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology – Environmental Studies and Geosciences), Computational Methods, Organismal Biology Core, Chemistry, Health and Exercise Sciences, Math and Computer Science, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology, SAIL (Skidmore Analytical Interdisciplinary Laboratory), SMIC (Skidmore Microscopy Imaging Center), Animal Suite, Greenhouse, General Classrooms (Registrar), Idea Lab/Maker Space

LEED STATUS
Tracking LEED Silver

Skidmore College’s move to an entirely new campus in 1963 afforded them a uniquely unified and architecturally consistent campus environment tucked against the North Woods in Saratoga, NY. Typical of buildings of this era, the original science building and two subsequent additions were suffering from aging systems and inadequate / ineffective spaces. Even more pressing was Skidmore’s desire to consolidate all of their nine science departments and programs under one roof. Key to the design of the new Center for Integrated Sciences is a coherent arrangement of the spaces oriented around a unifying hub.

The dramatic three story “living room” and gallery form the heart of the complex of new and existing buildings, supporting a distinct spirit of collaboration and integration seen as critical to Skidmore’s vision for science education.

Two new wings placed along the north and east edges of the original complex shape this central hub and define three distinct entrances. The southern end of the new construction features an impressive three story Makery, an 85 foot long window that displays the living room to the campus. This welcoming beacon invites the entire Skidmore community to utilize the facility at all times of day.

The new wings are slightly folded as they wrap around the existing buildings. Articulating the wings as two story red brick bars floated above a dark brick base helps to navigate the topography that rises up one level toward the northwest corner. Regularly spaced, vertically oriented two story windows in red brick walls recall the character of Skidmore’s original buildings while their crisp, clean detailing offers a clear forward-looking appearance.

KEY TEAM MEMBERS
Robert J. Schaeffner, FAIA, LEED AP
Principal-in-Charge

Sarah N. Lindenfeld, AIA
Project Manager