The Engineering Design and Innovation Building is the new anchor for the reimagined west quadrangle on the Penn State University Park campus.
The building combines multiple schools of engineering programs and labs into one facility creating an epicenter for innovative maker space. The program includes the School of Engineering Design and Innovation (SEDI), the Learning Factory, the Factory for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) Lab, Wood Shop, Electronics and 3d -Printing labs. As a result, this new building creates a single programmatic magnet for research, making, testing, innovation, and prototyping. It is the innovation engine for the College of Engineering at Penn State University Park.
Emphasis is on integrating active learning by engaging a ‘Learning on display’ motto. Collaborating with the school’s leadership and Payette, the building provides learning and built spaces with flexible classrooms and multi-use studios. Corridors provide niches that offer quiet touch-downs for studying, and open design crit spaces become unique flexible areas allowing users to transform them into project review spaces, event gatherings, or the daily use touch-down space for students between classes.
The pure exterior shape echoes a ‘Toolbox for Learning,’ placing a focus on the material use of brick, metal panel, limestone, granite, glass, and timber; the intention is to allow students to start experiencing ‘Learning on Display’ from the moment they see the building as they approach.
The expansive glass and timber curtainwall on the east façade reinforces the learning on display. Its copper anodized aluminum metal panels become a picture frame surrounding the structurally glazed timber curtainwall creating a dynamic façade. It enables the building’s activity to be displayed; meanwhile, the quad’s outside activity and daylight energize the interior program.
Triangulated roof monitors crown the top of the building. By orienting the sloped glazing to the north, natural daylight permeates the open studio floor plan with reduced glare.
The High Bay Lab is a three-story civil and structural research lab that houses one of the country’s largest singular concrete poured strong walls. The design and construction of the strong wall and strong floor alone are an impressive engineering feat. The capabilities of the strong wall and floor allow Penn State new opportunities to significantly expand its engineering research and recruit talented individuals worldwide.
The link between the Engineering Design and Innovation building and the quad is the landscape. LJC’s landscape architecture team is reimagining the 15-acre quad to reflect PSU’s incredible legacy landscapes. The strategy begins with enhancing pedestrian circulation throughout the west campus. It aims to create a safe and secure campus with useful, meaningful, and branded exterior spaces that encourage students to utilize the outdoors through various plant materials, colors, textures, and seasonal interests. Creating opportunities for students and faculty to collide, mix, and share ideas and enrich the Engineering Design and Innovation culture. All improvements intend to create great and memorable user experiences.