University of Texas at Dallas Engineering and Computer Science West / SmithGroup

University of Texas at Dallas Engineering and Computer Science West / SmithGroup

Courtesy of SmithGroup © Bill Timmerman Courtesy of SmithGroup Courtesy of SmithGroup + 21

Richardson, United States
  • Lead Architects: SmithGroup
  • Design Team: Mark Kranz, FAIA, Clint Menefee, AIA, Randall Daniel, AIA
  • Engineering: SmithGroup / www.smithgroup.com; JQ Infrastructure / http://www.jqeng.com; Pacheco Koch Engineers / https://www.pkce.com/
  • Landscape: SmithGroup
  • Av/It Consultants: Datacom Design Group
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Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup

Text description provided by the architects. The University of Texas at Dallas seized a rare opportunity to create a next-gen research facility in concert with a burgeoning engineering program. The university used the building project as an opportunity to facilitate a new curriculum structure with the goal of attracting more top-tier students, researchers and faculty.

© Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

Traditional classroom and lab environments are replaced with accessible, interactive workspaces to immerse students in hands-on learning from day one. All labs and classrooms feature completely transparent fronts, providing uninhibited views to the research and learning activities within. New maker spaces and flexible, active-learning environments empower collaborative learning, encouraging team-based problem-solving, engaging students while helping to build peer connections. Maker spaces are complemented by a rich variety of collaboration nodes throughout the building providing comfortable drop space between classes or meeting rooms for group study.

Floor plan 01
Floor plan 01

The building is designed as a teaching tool itself, where exposed and color-coded building systems demonstrate how its engineering functions. Perforated metal ceilings with illuminated plenums allow students to trace systems within corridors and glass encased shafts provide visual access into exhaust ductwork and elevator mechanics

Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup

The facility is designed to adapt to rapid changes in technologies and shifts in research. The mix of high-bay, wet and dry labs support the three areas of specialty research—energy, robotics and nano-biotechnology. All are contained in a highly adaptable chassis that anticipate change and are column- and obstruction-free for ultimate flexibility.

Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup

Instructional-research clusters co-locate teaching spaces next to research labs, allowing students to witness research of the same topic they are learning in coursework. Faculty, post-doctorate and graduate students are housed in blended space between the instructional and research labs, increasing access and collaboration between students, faculty and researchers.

Perspective section
Perspective section

Students of all majors flock to the building to collaborate and socialize. While the colossal structure maximizes the available site capacity and creates a new strong urban edge for the campus, the building is intentionally porous, sited to create paths of travel through its halls or across its courtyard. The efficient U-shaped form creates a large-scale take on the traditional Texas courtyard with breezeway and breathable shade trellis at roof.

Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup
© Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

While interior transparency is maximized, so too is visibility to the outside world. Garage doors lift onto the courtyard allowing passersby a window into workshops. The first-floor Freshman Design Lab is a showcase of the different approach to engineering education. Designed to buzz with noticeable action all day long, the building energizes the student experience for everyone on campus.

Courtesy of SmithGroup
Courtesy of SmithGroup

The design of the Engineering and Computer Science West building is a rich fusion of research, instruction, and student experience rarely seen in higher education facilities. The building is a new model for how to more effectively engage and retain students in STEM programs, promoting equity of access through design, and propelling positive change for future generations of engineering research and discovery.

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Project location

Address: Richardson, Texas, United States

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "University of Texas at Dallas Engineering and Computer Science West / SmithGroup" 11 Mar 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/935283/university-of-texas-at-dallas-engineering-and-computer-science-west-smithgroup/> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of SmithGroup

德克萨斯大学达拉斯工程和计算机科学西楼 / SmithGroup

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