Design Narrative

Learning occurs everywhere on campus not just in the classroom. The new Math/Science + Social Science building fosters interdisciplinary communication by creating intersections between formal and informal learning environments. The building is an apparatus that demonstrates some theories of the programs taught within. Experiment Zones are identified both inside and at the exterior of the building. These are places for demonstration. The building is an apparatus or armature to ‘display’ an effect that the student can visualize and calculate outside of the formal classroom.

The Box Geometry is a framework created as an armature for decision-making on form and programmatic relationships. Our box geometry is three dimensional and in order for the relationships to be legible, we use color, material and variations in the z- dimension. The north boxes (classrooms) are transparent and the south boxes (labs) are solid. The series of boxes employs a single rotation per floor. Utilizing the Fibonacci series for the rotations, each module rotates against the same grid intersection in the same relative direction in sequence of 10 , 10 , 20 , 30 , 50, 80 etc.

In plan, the modulated boxes are aligned with the column grid prior to a series of rotations. Once the column grid is fixed, the boxes rotate around the intersection of column grid line A5 and column grid line AA. This intersection marks the origin of the rotations and marks the point of circulation in all directions. The overlap between these rotations in plan begin to define form of light well locations, skylight locations, landscape zones, and the experiment zones.

Each programmatic element is articulated with its own material. The classroom geometry is composed of a translucent, polycarbonate, unitized panel system. Office block geometry is composed of curtainwall panels and lab space is composed of solid trespa panels. The translucent panels and glazing provide natural daylight and are predominantly located on the north side. The translucent wedge between solid masses and bands of windows on the south facade provide natural daylighting inside the labs and break the linearity of the building. The adjacent diagrams articulate the algorithmic rules for the plan, creating dynamic spaces that engage students imagination as they make their way to class, and linger between classes.