Seattle, October 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – LMN Architects is proud to celebrate the completion of the Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. Located in the center of the academic complex and campus, the new building is characterized by porous, transparent and lively social spaces that support a large number of teaching laboratories that display science.
The Interdisciplinary Science Center (ISC) for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology at Eastern Washington University (EMU) places science in the university’s public life. The building completes the western edge of the Arevalo Student Mall and to the south it houses and reinforces a primary pedestrian corridor that connects the central campus with the growing athletics district to the west. Along this path, the building and its bridges form a significant new campus gateway that will raise awareness of the science education programs at Eastern Washington University. The facility is connected to the existing Science Building Center by two closed pedestrian bridges and forms a single integrated facility between the two structures.
David Bowman, Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at EMU comments: “The new interdisciplinary science center is changing the face of science at Eastern Washington University. It’s a state-of-the-art, student-centric, and visually stunning facility, but most importantly, a place where future academics, business people, and leaders can build a community while learning about the sciences that are and will continue to shape our world. “
Stephen Van Dyck, Partner, LMN Architects, comments: “Together with Eastern Washington University and our team of consultants, we designed the Interdisciplinary Science Center as an extroverted and welcoming new addition to the Eastern Campus. Through its planning and expression, the building expands the university’s awareness and capacity in the sciences and transforms the campus experience along a large pedestrian corridor. “
The new ISC is intended to be a teaching aid in itself. Inside the building, laboratory instrument exhibits and educational displays are integrated into the central corridor walls, creating an interactive educational environment and connecting the laboratory and corridor in a dynamic exchange of filtered views. Outside the building, the landscaping shows significant geological specimens along the property walls and native plant species found in the building’s various microclimates, and was designed in close collaboration with the faculty.
The architectural composition presents a four-story, brick-clad, rectangular shape with prominent cavities at both ends. In every void, a crystalline glass wall marks important entrances and social spaces. “The building is designed both symbolically and intuitively,” says Van Dyck. “The logic of the paneled brick casing gives way to the unexpected. These moments of punctuation and pause frame the spaces where people come together and connect the activity of the building inside with the campus behind it. “
The rectilinear shape of the building is clad in a paneled red brick facade system that is alternately offset in height to reveal a consistent rhythm of windows into the laboratory rooms inside. The envelope system is detailed with a purity and simplicity that matches the composition of the building, with black metal cladding elements simplifying the connections between panels and windows. The flat brick panels are accentuated with a subtle mix of cascading glass surfaces and enliven the facade throughout the day in a continuous play of subtle reflection.
The internal organization of the building follows the linear movement through the site, with laboratories flanking a spacious central aisle on all floors. The building reacts to the topography of the site through its internal development and has a striking staircase at the eastern entrance, which leads to the corridor on the second level and the western entrance. A lecture hall on level 1 is carved into the sloping terrain that forms the end point of this level in the slope.
The three levels above show a linear arrangement of laboratories, each with a corner shop window, which visually connects the classrooms with the social life of the building. The laboratories are tailored to the individual needs and special requirements of the individual departments and are connected to the adjoining preparation rooms along the outer edge of the building via a “ghost corridor”. A multifunctional meeting room on the fourth floor is accentuated by faceted glass walls facing south and east and has an adjoining terrace with a view over the campus to the landscape and the mountains beyond.
Jennifer Milliron, Principal, LMN Architects, comments: “The Interdisciplinary Science Center demonstrates our commitment to support customer goals through innovation, research and sustainability. By working closely with Eastern Washington University and the faculty, we have been able to create a unique science ecosystem that is tailored to your teaching needs, encourages collaboration between departments, and gives science a new face on campus. “
The project received LEED Gold certification. Some of the sustainable strategies include low flow hoods and heat recovery pipes, rainwater harvesting, xeriscaping, and the inclusion of botanical and geological landscape features to serve as teaching aids. Each laboratory is a complex but simple composition of private and public spaces that enhance the social experience. The building is in dialogue with the academic context, and the design is an orderly study in terms of scale, materiality, transparency and natural light.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Friday, October 22nd at 4:00 p.m. with State Senator Jeff Holy, State Representative Marcus Riccelli, Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner, EMU Interim President Dr. David May, Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Dr. David Bowman, Student Representative Taryn Wilson, Alumni Representative Darby McLean, and MINT Representative.
LMN Architects is a leader in higher education design in North America. Other completed projects include the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington; the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; the Anteater Study Pavilion at the University of California, Irvine; and the Plant Sciences Building at Washington State University.
About LMN Architects Since its inception in 1979, LMN Architects has been committed to the health and vitality of communities of all sizes. Internationally recognized for planning and designing environments that enhance the social experience. The company works in a wide variety of project typologies, including higher education institutions, science and technology, citizen and cultural projects, conference and convention centers, urban mixed use and transport.
LMN has successfully completed more than 700 projects across North America, including the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas; Vancouver Convention Center West in Vancouver, Canada; Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Middle School in Seattle, Washington; Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington; Sound Transit University of Washington Station in Seattle, Washington; and the recently completed expansion and renovation of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Based in Seattle, Washington, the company employs 150 talented professionals in the fields of architecture, interior design and urban planning. The quality of the work has been recognized with almost 300 national and international design awards, including the prestigious National Architecture Firm Award 2016 from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
For more information on the work of LMN Architects, please visit lmnarchitects.com
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Edgar Almaguer, communications and media strategist LMN Architects 2066823460 [email protected]