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T pro jec t

University of Texas at Dallas Natural Science and Engineer-

ing Research Laboratory c l i e n t University

of Texas at Dallas

a r c h i t e c t o f r e c o r d Page

Southerland Page, LLP

d e s i g n t e a m Mattia Flabiano, AIA; W. Dee Maxey, AIA; Britt C. Feik,

AIA; Doss Mabe, FAIA; Stuart Bauer, AIA; Ted Hyman, AIA c o n t r a c t o r Balfour

Beatty Construction

c o n s u l t a n t s Page

Southerland Page (MEP); Zimmer Gunsul

Frasca Partnership (design architect); GPR Planners Collaborative (laboratory planner); Datum Gojer Engineers (civil and structural); Camille La Foy (landscape); DataCom Design Group (data, telco & acoustical); Project Cost Resources (cost estimating); Schirmer Engineering (life safety); Engineered Air Balance (test and balance); Siemens Building Technologies (mechanical controls) p h o t o g r a p h e r Robert

34

t e x a s

Canfield

a r c h i t e c t

he new Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at

Dallas creates an innovative scientific environment while simultaneously possessing an astonishing architectural presence. The design and construction of the four-story, 192,000-squarefoot research facility responds to UT Dallas’ strategic plan to establish a top-flight research institution that will serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research. University officials expect to fill the facility with high-level faculty and scientists from such disparate fields as electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, chemistry, biology, and behavioral and brain sciences. Sited along the northern perimeter of the campus in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory is also seen as the focal point for a new entrance to the campus, which the university plans to expand to accommodate a near doubling of its student population from the current 14,000 to approximately 25,000 in the next 20 years. Since its inception in 1961 as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest (an outgrowth of technology giant Texas Instruments), UT Dallas’ architectural image has evolved from a mid-century modern style where buildings were conceived as solid and block-like in character. The $85 million NSERL building demonstrates a major aesthetic shift away from such relatively anonymous architecture. The new facility is definitely distinctive, with its articulated, curved, four-story-tall curtain wall and shimmering skin of anodized stainless steel panels. Covering 15 percent of the exterior, the 25,000 iridescent shingles complement the limestone that comprises most of the building envelope. Also noteworthy is the building’s carefully crafted window pattern set within solid walls. On the building’s east side, the glass curtain wall allows a substantial amount of daylight to penetrate deep into the laboratories and connect occupants to the outdoors. A framework of glulam wooden structure provides texture and visual warmth to the interiors spaces, with a series of very delicate joints and anchoring brackets adding to the overall creative flair. Even the exterior stair’s perforated metal cladding (with an anodized finish similar to the “fish scales”) creates a understated transition between the heavily articulated walls of the back facades and the building’s prominent corner. The interior parti is simple, consisting of a series of laboratory spaces arranged linearly and placed directly adjacent to areas configured for each research team to work together as a unified group. According to Dr. Bruce E. Gnade, the university’s vice president for research, the research

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Texas Architect Jan/Feb 2008: Design for Education  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...

Texas Architect Jan/Feb 2008: Design for Education  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...