Augustana University - Froiland Science Complex
Augustana University recognized a need for modernizing and increasing capacity for its natural science programs. With growing demand for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, the liberal-arts institution also saw benefit in bringing together more disciplines—including computer science, mathematics, physics and nursing—under one roof to foster a complementary educational environment. Along with integrating areas of study, Augustana also sought to create a facility that optimized the undergraduate student experience, making a ‘home’ for science, and increasing transparency at all levels of instruction and research.
The existing Gilbert Hall’s robust structural system led the design team to choose a full-renovation of the 85,000-square-foot facility with state-of-the-art technologies. A new wing was part of the design, adding 42,000 square feet of much-needed program space, which converted Gilbert’s L-shaped footprint into a cohesive triangle, with a center courtyard, vastly improving circulation and collaboration among disciplines.
The design co-locates teaching and prep/research to enhance contiguous functional efficiencies and encourage student-research opportunities. Collaborative spaces are infused throughout with open meeting areas, classrooms, flexible lecture/multipurpose rooms, and study alcoves which enliven the building’s use as a gathering place. An ample use of glass increases daylighting and transparency, while exposed ceilings express utilities and the unique castellated structural beams of Gilbert Hall.
The integrated design balances the old and new architecture with a new facade that strengthens the edge of campus. It creates a new landmark for Augustana University, showcasing advanced learning environments for today’s STEM students.