Innovation and Discovery Center

Ursinus College
Published 2-20-2019
  • Innovation and Discovery Center

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • Neurosciences Teaching Laboratory

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • U-Imagine Maker Space

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • Main Entrance and Innovation Commons

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • Biology Research Laboratory

    Courtesy of Ellenzweig

  • Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) Classroom

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • Rooftop Classroom

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • Upper floor Student Common Space at the intersection of the IDC and Pfahler Hall

    Photo by Ellenzweig

  • First, Second, and Third Floor Plans

    Floor Plans by Ellenzweig

  • Axonometric of First Floor

    Rendering by Ellenzweig

  • Axonometric of Second Floor

    Rendering by Ellenzweig

  • Axonometric of Third Floor

    Rendering by Ellenzweig

The primary mission of the new Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC) is to promote interdisciplinary STEM education and undergraduate research at Ursinus College. The IDC functions as a “link” building between two existing buildings—Pfahler Hall (home of chemistry, physics/astronomy, math/computer science, and environmental studies) and Thomas Hall (home of biology and psychology). By linking these two buildings, the IDC creates a unified science and technology center for the campus. This new three-building complex is organized to promote connections and synergies among the faculty and students in the various disciplines—between neuroscience and biology; biology and psychology; chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology; health, exercise physiology, and biology; environmental studies and all of the sciences; and mathematics, computer science, and physics and astronomy. The building houses teaching labs, research labs, lab support spaces, a vivarium, a learning commons, active learning classrooms, a maker space, seminar rooms, and faculty offices, all in support of the interdisciplinary mission of the college.

The new building provides a central learning commons at the main entry, along with two active learning spaces and a maker space, to encourage use by the entire campus. All learning spaces feature completely flexible layouts with advanced technology to support team-based learning. The new addition also features a significant expansion of research space to promote the involvement of undergraduates in active research projects as an important part of the undergraduate experience. Research labs are all flexible, with movable benches served by an overhead service grid.

The building also seeks to provide a more holistic, contemporary academic experience that integrates science with entrepreneurial thinking. A hallmark of the college’s liberal arts mission is the ability to view challenges from several unique perspectives. The IDC accomplishes this by aligning scientific study with ethical and philosophical considerations, as well as economics, culture, and entrepreneurship. Because of this highly-interdisciplinary approach to learning and research, the IDC also houses the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies and the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good.

The Innovation and Discovery Center puts science on display in a contemporary environment designed to foster collaboration and interaction. Openness and transparency are the hallmarks of the teaching, research, and social spaces, promoting connectivity among the academic programs and the physical environment of the newly formed science complex. The exterior design is in keeping with the contemporary mission of the science being conducted within, yet sympathetic in materials and massing to Pfahler and Thomas Halls and the larger campus.

The design of the Innovation and Discovery Center was preceded by a master planning study of the College’s science facilities, which involved a detailed programming effort to determine the spatial requirements for the science and interdisciplinary programs over a 10-year period. The planning process involved an analysis of multiple build-out options, and provided an overall renovation and new construction plan to update all of the college’s STEM programs. The Innovation and Discovery Center is the outgrowth of that master plan.

Project Data
Project Type: 
New Construction
Completion Date: 
September, 2018
Location: 
Collegeville, PA
Delivery Method: 
General Contractor (GC)
Project GSF: 
42,000
Project NSF: 
22,765
Project Cost: 
$27,500,000USD
Construction Cost: 
$20,000,000USD
Building Descriptors: 
Education: Classroom
Education: Faculty Office
Education: Lecture Or Seminar Hall
Laboratory
Laboratory: Research
Laboratory: Teaching
Laboratory: Wet
Research
Vivarium
Organizations
Ellenzweig
Architect
Kinsley Construction
General Contractor
gBuild Construction Managers
Owner’s Project Manager
Ellenzweig
Laboratory Planner
BR+A Consulting Engineers
M/E/P/FP Engineer
LeMessurier Consultants Inc.
Structural Engineer
Entech Engineering
Civil Engineer
Derck & Edson Associates
Landscape Architect
Pieszak Lighting Design
Lighting Designer
Cavanaugh Tocci
Acoustical Engineer/Audio-Visual Consultant
MoharDesign
Furniture Consultant
Collective Wisdom Corporation
Specifications Consultant
R.W. Sullivan, Inc.
Code Consultant
Otis Elevator Company
Elevator
Haakon Industries
Air Handlers
Tozour-Trane
Automatic Temperature Controls
Legrand-WattStopper
Lighting Controls
Tecniplast USA
Cage Wash
Hoshizaki America
Ice Machine
Esco Technologies, Inc.
Bedding Disposal
WaterSaver Faucet Co.
Fixtures
Mott Manufacturing
Laboratory Furniture and Fume Hoods
Phoenix Controls
Fume Hood Controls