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#Projectoftheweek: Johnson C. Smith University New Science Center

Wednesday, August 15, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sandra Doherty
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Johnson C. Smith University New Science Center
Charlotte, NC

 

The New Science Center is sited on Johnson C. Smith University’s (JCSU) campus between the library and chapel, intentionally facing Beatties Ford Road near the prominent “5 Points” intersection in West Charlotte. As part of the project, major outdoor spaces were also created including the Collaboration Garden for outdoor gathering and teaching, and the Mediation Garden for quiet contemplation next to the chapel. The required detention area is designed as a habitat for local fauna and hands-on instruction. The exterior expression of the building is designed to respect the historical campus context while embracing modern technologies through the use of curtain wall, metal panels, strategically placed shading devices and framed references to existing campus features. The intentional sweep of the grand, but functional atrium and the reinforcement of the penetrable, metal panel datum wall redefine a historic pathway to and from the chapel, the historic campus gates and toward the expanding campus and future transit corridor beyond. The intention was to encourage foot traffic through the building, showcasing classroom, laboratory and conferencing activities. The generous use of transparency, a variety of semi-private study nooks and a delightful infusion of natural light combine to entice students and visitors to spend more time in the building and develop interests and conversations surrounding STEM curricula. The facility is also designed for meetings, receptions and conferences, boasting features such as a 225 seat lecture hall, warming pantry for catering, and a conference center with touch down space for visiting speakers and faculty. It was key that the placement of these features allow the University to host auxiliary activities without disrupting normal classroom and lab functions. These components as well the roster of labs, classrooms and faculty offices are organized by the grand atrium space which creates a melting pot of interaction for occupants with its array of collaborative seating/study pods, overlooks and layered views. The seemingly decorative ceiling treatment in the atrium also serves the function of acoustical dampening and concealment of ductwork for the smoke evacuation system. Laboratories are designed for undergraduate instruction and research. The availability and visibility of these flexible laboratories and their activities have been a catalyst for a consistent stream of industry supported grants allowing the procurement of sophisticated equipment to further research opportunities. The Market Driven Centers are collaborative classrooms generally on the main level that focus specifically on Bio-informatics/Technology, Analytical Research, and Medical Informatics but can be reconfigured based on the contemporary topics of research. Most Market Driven Centers are expected to change in focus depending on market forces with the exception of the Center for Renewable Energy. This Center monitors data from photovoltaic panels on the roof and wind turbines installed on campus as part of this project. In addition to the more public collaboration spaces both in and outside of the building, more specific pre and post function study spaces are also sprinkled throughout the laboratory corridors, all of which combine to facilitate innovative overlaps between faculty, students, and guests.

 

PROJECT TEAM:

Architecture Firm: Bergmann Associates

Messer Construction Co.

Johnson C. Smith University

Stewart, inc

Cole Jenest and Stone

Bulla Smith Design Engineering

McCracken & Lopez, P.A.

RMF Engineering, Inc

EYP Architecture and Engineering

Herbin Design

Vertex Technology Consultants, Inc.

F.C. Schafer Consulting, LLC



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