Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies / Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

© Timothy Hursley

The Gates Center for Computer Science will complete a computer science complex on Carnegie Mellon University’s west campus. The building will house the three departments of the School of Computer Science providing offices, conference rooms, open collaborative spaces, closed project rooms and a reading room for more than one hundred and twenty faculty, three hundred and fifty graduate students, one hundred researchers or postdoctoral fellows and fifty administrative staff members along with a more public component of ten University classrooms, a two hundred and fifty seat auditorium, a café and two University computer clusters.

Architect: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
Location: Pittsburgh, ,
Project Area: 208,000 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Timothy Hursley, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

© Timothy Hursley

The following design principles have been used to guide the project conceptually:

  • The empowerment of the individual is fundamental to the mission of an academic institution.
  • Intelligent, creative people possess an innate desire for the freedom of choice. They privilege order over the systematic and demand the maintenance of individuality within a respected collective.
  • Architecture and Landscape Architecture have the capacity to sponsor the uncompromised coexistence of seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • At Carnegie Mellon, interdisciplinary and collaborative work between both its academic units and its faculty has been and continues to be one of its defining strengths.
  • As the School of Computer Science grows in size and diversity, its physical facilities must sustain and encourage a successful environment of collective difference.
© Timothy Hursley
  • The site chosen for the Gates Center has an unusually complex set of conflicting technical, functional and aesthetic challenges that, with the addition of the Gates Center, can serve to transform the West Campus area into a visually and physically integrated campus precinct.
  • The Carnegie Mellon Campus plan and many of its buildings have distinctive, enduring characteristics that embody the highest ideals of the institution’s founders. They were exceptional works of their time and serve as exemplary benchmarks for an architecture and landscape architecture of our own time.
  • An architecture that represents Carnegie Mellon University’s and the School of Computer Science’s exceptional status among the world’s leading academic institutions will be best informed from within the project’s own situation.
  • An inclusive process that reinforces reciprocity within the university, strengthens relations with its neighboring communities and deepens its commitment to the stewardship of our natural resources will add richness and credibility to this project.
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

Core Project Team: Mack Scogin (Principal), Merrill Elam (Principal), Lloyd Bray (Senior Project Architect),
Kimberly Shoemake-Medlock (Senior Project Architect and Manager) Alan Locke, Jared Serwer, Jason Hoeft, Clark Tate, Trey Lindsey, Jeff Collins

Project Team: B Vithayathawornwong, Dennis Sintic, Carrie Hunsicker, Misty Boykin, Barnum Tiller, Matt Weaver, John Trefry, Margaret Fletcher, Helen Han, Ben Arenberg, Brian Bell, Francesco Giacobello, Daniel Cashen, Janna Kauss, Patrick Jones, Cayce Bean, Jeff Kemp, Anja Turowski, Bo Roberts, Matthew Leach, Gary McGaha, Ted Paxton, Britney Bagby, Jacob Coburn, Amanda Crawley, Reed Simonds
Local Architect: EDGE studio
Associate Architect: Gensler
Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Civil and Geotechnical Engineer: Civil and Environmental Consultants
Structural Engineer, MEP, Lighting Design, Fire Protection and Life Safety Consultant, Communications and IT Consultant, LEED Consultant, Acoustical Engineer, Audiovisual Consultant, Security Consultant: Arup
Specifications Consulting: Collective Wisdom
Digital Assets Manager: CHBH
Cost Consultant: Heery International
Pausch Bridge Lighting Design: C & C Lighting
Parking Consultant: Tim Haahs
Hardware Consultant: Ingersoll Rand Security and Safety
Facade Assessment: Wiss, Janny, Elstner Associates
Construction Manager: P. J. Dick, Incorporated
Geotechnical Engineer: Construction Engineering Consultants
Surveyor: Gateway Engineers

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies / Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects" 26 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
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