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Washington State University’s new Plant Sciences Building opens

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Washington State University’s new Plant Sciences Building opens

LMN Architects designed the project.


By David Malone, Associate Editor | November 16, 2020
Exterior of WSU's new Plant Sciences Building

All photos: Adam Hunter | LMN Architects

The new $66 million-dollar Plant Sciences Building has officially opened on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Wash. 

The 82,437-sf building is the latest addition to the V. Lane Rawlins Research and Education Complex and will support Washington’s $51 billion food and agriculture industry by providing a modern research venue for faculty and students in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, WSU’s Molecular Plant Science Program, and portions of the Departments of Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Crop and Soil Sciences.

The building’s exterior reimagines the red-brick campus vernacular in a new architectural approach using a high-performance precast concrete facade panel system clad with a sculpted, red-brick veneer. These panels comprise structure, insulation, weather barrier, interior, and exterior finishes within a single prefabricated component.

 

Plant Sciences Building interior

 

The facility will be a social and interdisciplinary heart for the research complex. It is designed for flexibility and hosts infrastructure for a variety of research needs beyond the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. At the western entry, the building’s cantilevered composition frames a new grand entry for the whole complex.

A four-floor staircase encourages vertical circulation and provides visual connection between floors. At every level, centralized social spaces link circulation elements with the REC’s central spine, designed to fuel spontaneous collaboration within the communal core.

The interior arrangement of laboratories is designed to support efficient and flexible research. The modular laboratories can be easily rearranged to respond to the changing needs of research throughout the building. Offices to the north of the laboratories for Principal Investigators are interspersed with open work areas for graduate researchers. To the south of the laboratories are a series of modular support spaces that accommodate a variety of specialized research equipment within easy reach of the adjacent lab benches.

The project was designed and constructed by the design/build team of Skanska and LMN Architects.

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