University of Texas at Arlington Chemistry & Physics Building, Arlington, TX

Oct. 1, 2007
Project Innovations 2007

Located in the heart of the University of Texas at Arlington campus, the new Chemistry & Physics Building was constructed to enhance the research and teaching capabilities of and collaborative opportunities between the departments of chemistry and physics. Spaces for both departments are planned side by side on each floor; faculty offices for both departments are planned together to promote a collegial environment and interdisciplinary dialogue.

Special Design Features
The massing along the south façade was organized into three research "houses." This massing reflects the modular nature of the program, reduces the overall scale of the façade, and provides outdoor interaction balconies at student teaching offices between the houses.

A 3-story atrium unifies floors vertically, provides breakout and exhibit space for the planetarium, and allows a central gathering space for the College of Sciences. The lobby atrium was designed as a pass-through space for pedestrians to tour science on display and interact with the staff.

The circular plan of the planetarium is expressed in a cylindrical form that is clad in variegated limestone. At the top is the central meeting room for the building, which serves campus-wide uses and, with its floor-to-ceiling glass, overlooks the drive and library courtyard. The planetarium is frequently used as a teaching facility for children from local school districts and has become a popular after-hours venue for the campus and community at large. 

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