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Sac State’s new science complex and planetarium nears completion

CO Architects designed the facility.

July 11, 2018 |
Ernest E. Tschannen science complex

California State University, Sacramento’s (Sac State) new 96,631-sf Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex recently had its ceremonial topping out event. The five-story complex on the banks of the American River will feature an energy-efficient design and abundant natural light with laboratory space for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Dubbed the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, the CO Architects-designed $91.5 million building’s façade is inspired by the rippling effect created when a stone is tossed into water. The planetarium and its 2,500-sf dome, located at the building’s inward inflection point, is meant to represent the stone’s impact, with the patterned window system radiating outward to emulate the ripples.


Sac State Science ComplexCourtesy CO Architects.


The complex’s instructional laboratories will have large expanses of glass adjacent to public corridors to display the work occurring within and connect students and faculty. The corridors branch out from naturally lit central lobbies on each floor. Students can use these central lobbies to collaborate and study. An observatory is accessible from the rooftop and will feature a retractable roof and two telescopes.


The Planetarium at Sac State Science COmplexCourtesy CO Architects.


The landscape was also designed to be able to double as a teaching tool where biologists and botanists can experiment and teach outside of their labs. An outdoor plaza will offer additional space to gather, study, or rest. Additionally, a green roof will be accessible from a continuous ramp and stairs.


See Also: NC State University’s transparent engineering building has ‘engineering on display’ around every corner


The Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex is targeting LEED gold certification and is slated for completion in June 2019. The Build Team includes Sundt Construction, P2S Inc. (MEP), Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers (SE), Cunningham Engineering (CE, landscape architecture).


Aerial rendering of the Sac State Science ComplexCourtesy CO Architects.


Sac State Science compelxCourtesy CO Architects.

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