Lawrence University

Projects : teaching  
Lawrence University
Science Hall
Appleton, WI
74,000 gsf addition

Science Hall at Lawrence University houses expanded facilities for the Departments of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Ellenzweig provided programming, architectural design, laboratory planning and design, and construction administration services. Designed to support a highly investigative, “hands-on” approach towards instruction in the natural sciences, teaching laboratories feature modular benches where students work collaboratively in small groups. Expanded research lab facilities provide dedicated space for student research.

The lowest level of the building features two advanced physics research laboratories (including an X-ray lab) where students conduct experiments in solid-state and liquid-crystal phase transitions. The first and second floors house laboratory and support space for general and analytic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and instrumental analysis. The third floor houses teaching and research laboratories for courses in biology, microbiology, genetics, and animal behavior.

Science Hall includes many different spaces designed to encourage interdisciplinary and interdepartmental interaction. The first floor houses a shared chemistry/biology computer lab, and an adjacent computing lab is available for drop-in use by students from anywhere on campus. The largest interaction space is a central atrium, serving as the main entrance to the building and Youngchild Hall, which houses the remainder of the natural sciences program. The atrium is used for meetings, poster sessions, receptions, and small-group study for the science disciplines, and has evolved into a central meeting space for the entire campus community.

The exterior materials used for Science Hall complement the existing buildings on campus. Ashlar limestone is featured on the main façade facing the campus, and is the primary material of the atrium walls. The juxtaposition of rough-hewn stone with the atrium's glass walls creates a space that connects the inside space with the outside. Repeating other campus materials, the rest of the building features warm-colored precast concrete and metal panels.