The University of Chicago recently renovated and expanded its two-story, limestone science building built in the 1960s to accommodate the needs of a first-rate science facility. The new $11.2-million Biopsychological Sciences Building serves the interdisciplinary needs of the Department of Evolution and Ecology and the Department of Biopsychology.
The building houses research laboratories, animal holding facilities, data rooms, office space, and a multi-purpose seminar room. The seminar room contains flexible seating arrangements with data ports for laptop computers, audio visual capabilities for on-screen presentations, and black-out windows screens. The animal spaces have timer-controlled lighting and automated climate controls to regulate inside environments to suit specific studies. Additional animal support functions include a cage wash, equipment storage, and surgery space. The project incorporates completely new mechanical systems and conforms to AAALAC guidelines.
A new lobby was designed for the existing 20,000-sf science building along with the replacement and cleaning of the limestone. The 30,000-sf addition includes a new north bay and three stories situated directly above the existing facility. Through careful planning and construction, the design accommodates future technology and the growing number of students and staff.
The limestone facade and gothic-revival detailing of the addition compliment the existing science building and The University of Chicago's overall campus aesthetic. Interior finishes feature limestone walls and cherry wood paneling. The renovated lobby serves as an informal gathering space to exhibit student projects and faculty research. The space encourages interaction among researchers, students, and staff thus fostering a strong sense of community. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby provide natural light and continuity between the interior and exterior. Lobby doors open to a terrace with views of a campus courtyard. Telecommunication and data ports on the terrace and throughout the Biopsychological Sciences Building support the University's email and laptop computer initiative.