A strong organizing principal based on the concrete structural grid is revealed throughout this 65,000-square-foot addition to the College of Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. A central campus gathering space evolved within the four-level exposed concrete atrium, which perfectly contains the engraved historical images of scientific thought…a collaboration of artist (Larry Kirkland) and architect. Each floor, linked to the sciences of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics, invites students and faculty to gather together in academic “homes” throughout the atrium.
In order to expand ceiling heights for classroom technology and infrastructure, the floor-to-floor heights were increased from the original building. The resulting ramps to each level of the addition add a unique richness to the overall experience of the space. The building contains state-of-the-art smart classrooms, which are arranged to optimize the site lines and instructional orientation. Abutting the 30-year-old College of Science, great care was taken in routing all new utilities through the new mechanical shaftway.
The traditional, exterior material palette of brick has been expanded to include ribbed and smooth metal panels that, through their detailing, produce a multi-layered skin that, as in the interior, reveals the structure in its several surfaces.
SWBR designed the CEMST addition in collaboration with the Pennsylvania architecture firm of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
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