Sciences Building Nominated for Architecture Award

  • News Photo 2892
    Internal and external elements contribute to a total educational environment.
  • News Photo 2895
    Baylor Sciences Building
  • News Photo 2894
    Laboratories feature the latest science and technology.
  • News Photo 2893
    Storm water is collected in a series of undulating terrace levels in the plaza as an educational feature,
  • News Photo 2891
    The building and its landscape were designed to contribute to an uplifting experience for its users.
  • News Photo 2890
    The building was designed to foster creativity and collaboration.
May 11, 2005

by Judy Long

The Baylor Sciences Building has been nominated for R&D Magazine's 2005 Laboratory of the Year Award by the facility's architectural design firm, HarleyEllis.

The Southfield, Mich., company designed the 500,000-square-foot facility to meet Baylor's exacting specifications, including the latest science and technology, the ability to change the interior structure with technological advances, environmentally responsible structural choices and an atmosphere that fosters creativity, all at the most economical price.

R&D, a research and development journal targeting scientists, engineers and other research professionals, offers the award annually to architecturally distinguished facilities with high overall design quality.

In determining winning projects, judges will look for designs that use a building's environment to enhance research, provide a safe and productive work environment, impart an uplifting experience and enhance the recruitment of top researchers.

Dr. Benjamin A. Pierce, professor of biology at Baylor, believes the building meets and exceeds the guidelines.

"This building creates a new culture of sciences at Baylor," he said. "The facility encourages and supports an interactive science community and creates an environment where discovery becomes an integral part of the educational process."

Rick L. Creel, associate vice president for operations and facilities at Baylor, said the Baylor Sciences Building creates a sense of place that draws people together in a caring community. "We have given the students, faculty and staff a total environment, inside and out, in which to gather and challenge each other. The building and its landscape contribute to an exemplary education for the whole person--intellectually, physically and spiritually."

Judges also will consider the building's site, traffic flow, flow of materials, aesthetics and working conditions.

Site and landscape elements were employed as teaching tools and scientific metaphors of the physical processes, said HarleyEllis landscape architect Mark E. Heiber. He cited the fountain plaza as a prime example.

"The concentric configurations of the fountains relate to physical and natural forms. The drainage channel of the plaza interprets the Texas arroyo--the river bed that meanders its way, intermittently dry or flooded with water. Rather than immediately hiding storm rain water, we collect it in a series of undulating terrace levels in the plaza, revealing the physical process and transforming it into an interactive and visually educational feature to enjoy," he said.

Award winners will be announced by July 1, 2005, and winners will be featured in an upcoming issue.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?