This building is designed to support a myriad of programmatic needs. Current programs include Advanced Pavement Research, Soils Dynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Thermodynamics and Combustion Research, Geology, and Hydraulics and Structures Testing including a 110 Kip Reaction Strong Floor. Open, unassigned shell space was created to provide for new programs and attract research to the campus.
The Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 2 is conceptualized as “Living in the Machine”, a tectonic expression and weaving of its systems and programs, reflecting its purpose as an engineering and research facility. Primary building systems and distribution are housed in the exploded section with air handling, piping, data cabling, and common building services all exposed within the centralized courtyard flanked by open flexible loft lab spaces. This configuration minimizes penetrations and fixed elements in the laboratory space maximizing flexibility and adaptability.
In response to the harsh desert climate and the need for bulk material movement to the labs the building’s linear shaded courtyard, 280 feet in length and over sixty feet in height, is enclosed by perforated corten steel panels, providing a balance of natural daylight with filtered shade and tempered space. Six large air moving fans circulate large volumes of air, while courtyard misting systems provide evaporative cooling on a pre-programmed cycle depending on seasonal need. The tempering of the space reduces air temperature by as much as 20 degrees at the peak of the year. The courtyard replaces the need for internalized circulation that would have had to be large enough to accommodate forklift traffic and bulk materiel handling to the lab.
The central court provides gathering, conference, and lounge spaces at each level to promote interaction within the interdisciplinary environment. A series of meeting “Enclaves” are provided at the upper levels, including a pair of crystalline rooms hung from the structure at the mezzanine level, which focus on creating opportunities for casual interaction between researchers, faculty, and students. Private offices and open research support spaces are located on the second level of the central court. The use of OSHA safety colors and patterning reinforce the hyper-industrial quality of the space.