Academic Accelerator in the Fertile Landscape
Discovery Hall weaves together landscape and learning. To embody the mission of the School of Earth and Environment, and the sciences at large, this project connects the place of learning with the environment’s natural systems as an integral teaching tool to promote academic excellence as well as the health and wellbeing of the entire campus community.
The 67,560-square-foot academic and research building was designed to expand facilities for instruction and research within the School of Earth & Environment and the College of Science & Mathematics. This holistic learning environment features classrooms, conference rooms, collaboration space, and teaching and research laboratories for a variety of disciplines including biology, chemistry, environmental science, and geology/paleontology.
The design actively engages the academic community as the front door of the University’s academic core. Located at the crossroads of town and campus core, the building facilitates interaction among students, the environment, and the developing retail and residential context. Through both placemaking and extensive views, the building placement and configuration defines an extension of the academics to the landscape and campus beyond. The building design weaves together natural materials of the earth and significant transparency, through a variety of glazing systems, to provide an engaging learning environment.