Cal Poly dedicated the $133 million William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation in May of 2023 in San Luis Obispo. Designed by ZGF Architects with Research Facilities Design (RFD) as laboratory design consultant, the 103,800-sf facility represents a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and Mathematics, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Featuring an expansive atrium, the interdisciplinary building provides three large classrooms accommodating 60, 100, and 180 students. The Boswell Agricultural Technology Center includes teaching and research labs for culinary science, nutrition, food safety, and sensory analysis, while the Cashin Expressive Technology Studio emphasizes immersive aural and visual communication modalities. With a green roof offering an inspiring setting for outdoor learning, the four-story development also houses flexible faculty/student research venues, conference rooms, and academic and administrative offices.
Constructed by Gilbane, the two-phase project also created a vivarium, a conservatory, and additional lab space for the College of Science and Mathematics. The sustainably designed facility is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. Passive design strategies and access to natural ventilation ensure a healthy environment for building occupants, with air handling units supplying 100 percent outdoor air. Maximizing visibility and transparency through abundant glazing, the highly interactive structure is encased by a self-supporting metal façade. Construction began on the center in May of 2019 with substantial completion in May of 2022.
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