Committed to the idea of cross-discipline exposure for all students, the new facility contains both teaching laboratories and classrooms, as well as a presentation room and student collaborative hubs that are designed to host the varied interests of Saint Mary’s 5,900 undergraduate and graduate students.
The new Science & Learning Center for Saint Mary’s University is an interdisciplinary teaching center for this mid–western, four-year private college. A daylight-filled atrium, with communicating stair connecting all levels, forms the central circulation spine of the building. All teaching and research spaces are accessed from this common area, and figuratively put “learning on display” via generous windows that allow views into all teaching spaces, as well as borrowing natural light from the atrium. Students and faculty from various disciplines are encouraged to interact and exchange ideas that are not typically shared in single-subject academic facilities. A planned repurposing of the directly-connected existing science building has created a faculty office community that further integrates academic subjects and promotes student engagement.