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The Interdisciplinary Science Center at Eastern Washington University completes

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Higher Education

The Interdisciplinary Science Center at Eastern Washington University completes

LMN Architects designed the building.

By David Malone, Managing Editor | October 26, 2021
Interdisciplinary Science Center exterior
Photos: Adam Hunter/LMN Architects

The Interdisciplinary Science Center (ISC) at Eastern Washington University, located in Cheney, Washington, has completed and opened to students and staff.

The LMN Architects-designed, 102,000-sf project is located at the center of the academic complex and the campus. It is characterized by porous, transparent, and vibrant social spaces that support a variety of teaching laboratories and put science on display. The building completes the western edge of Arevalo Student Mall and amplifies a primary pedestrian corridor to the south. The facility connects to the existing Science Building Center by two enclosed pedestrian bridges, forming a single integrated facility between the two structures.

Interdisciplinary Science Center interior gathering space

The four-level, brick-clad building takes a rectangular form with prominent voids at either end. Within each void, a crystalline glass wall marks major entries and social spaces. The rectilinear form of the building is clad with a panelized red brick façade system, alternately staggered in elevation to reveal a consistent rhythm of windows into the laboratory spaces within. The planar brick panels are accentuated with a subtle mix of cascading glazed surfaces, animating the façade in a continual play of subtle reflection throughout the day. The landscape design features significant geological specimens along site walls and native plant species arrayed among the building’s various micro-climates.

SEE ALSO: University of Washington’s new mass timber building tops out

Inside the ISC, laboratory instrument exhibits and educational displays are integrated throughout its central corridor walls, creating an interactive educational environment and connecting the laboratory and corridor in a dynamic exchange of filtered views. The internal organization of the building follows the linear movement through the site, with laboratories flanking either side of a large central corridor on all floors. The building responds to the site topography through its internal circulation and features a prominent stair at the eastern entry that leads to the second level corridor and western entry beyond. A lecture hall on Level 1 is carved into the sloping site forming the terminus of that level in the hillside.

Interdisciplinary Science Center lab space

The three levels above feature a linear arrangement of laboratories, each with a corner display window that visually connects the teaching spaces to the social life of the building. Laboratories are tailored to the unique needs of each department (physics, chemistry, biology, and geology) and are interconnected along the exterior edge of the building via a “ghost” corridor to adjacent prep rooms. A multipurpose gathering space on the fourth floor is accentuated with faceted glass walls facing south and east and features an adjacent terrace with views over the campus to the landscape and mountains beyond.

The project has received LEED Gold certification. In addition to LMN Architects, the Build Team featured:

Civil Engineer:
Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Inc.

Contractor & Construction Manager:
Lydig Construction.

Landscape Architect:
Berger Partnership.

Lighting Design:
MW Consulting Engineers.

MEP Engineer:
MW Consulting Engineers.

Laboratory Planning Consultant:
Research Facilities Design (RFD).

Structural Engineer:
Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Inc.

Interdisciplinary Science Center exterior

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