A new 61,000-sf, $29.5 million Murchie Science Building (MSB) addition has completed on the University of Michigan-Flint campus. The facility was designed to respond to the university’s dramatically growing STEM program and support the College of Innovation and Technology while also providing a new gateway building to the school’s entire student body.
The MSB is organized to support immersive learning on each of its four floors. Three programatic “bars” connect and run parallel to the existing linear structure supporting varied learning and collaborative experiences. A central interaction and collaborative bar brings together the two flanking bars of experiential learning and accessible faculty. At the highly visible east gateway end of the addition each bar cantilevers out over the landscape to different degrees with the central bar increasing in height. An all glass lobby floats below the cantilevered architecture to provide a highly visible point of arrival.
The facility also includes:
— two-story high collaborative spaces visible on all floors at the west end of the addition that promote vertical connectivity and visibility before floors
— classroom and lab spaces organized in a contiguous bar that provide flexibility for future room configuration and alternate pedagogies
— a main ground floor interior circulation system that integrates an existing east-west campus pathway that will increase exposure and promote STEM programs to students passing through the building
— a system of protected pathways, locking doors, and the strategic use of opaque solid walls that provide a secure-in-place strategy for all occupants of the building.
The layered cantilevered forms of the addition integrate with and advance the existing linear architecture to create an integrated gateway that is highly visible point of entry and arrival into the university.