At seven stories tall and 247,000 square feet, the Science Education and Research Center at Temple University in Philadelphia is one of the largest buildings devoted exclusively to scientific research in the city’s region.
With several high-tech learning spaces, the center promotes innovation while fostering collaboration.
Temple hadn’t built a new science facility in 50 years, says Larry Brandolph, associate vice president of computer services. “We needed something newer, that could better meet the needs of our students.” Temple also recognizes the importance of research and wanted to attract more students and faculty interested in science fields, says Brandolph.
The center has 52 research labs and 16 teaching labs, as well as open collaboration spaces. High-tech highlights include clean rooms, where particle levels in the air are controlled, and a low-vibration, scanning tunneling microscope facility.
As Temple’s first building constructed to LEED Gold standards, it features water recovery and heat exchange systems. Exterior light shades and interior light shelves control heat and bring sunlight deeper into the building.
Modern S-shaped furniture and a cafe anchor the two-story lobby. Overlooking the lobby is a large digital video wall—comprising 35, 55-inch displays—that serves many purposes, says Brandolph. Along with high-resolution science-related content, such as software that shows constellations in real time, Temple has used the video wall to stream lectures, sporting events and theater.
“Initially we thought just science faculty would use the wall,” Brandolph explains. “But the wall and the lobby have served as an event area for the entire campus.”
- COMPLETED: September 2014
- COST: $137 million
- PROJECT TEAM: Architectural Resources Cambridge (Cambridge, Mass.), architect; USA Architects (Somerville, N.J.), architect; Planar Systems (Beaverton, Ore.), digital signage