Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center, ISC Building, Architecture Design USA

Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center Building

October 26, 2021

Design: LMN Architects

Location: Cheney, Washington, USA

LMN Architects Celebrates The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Of The New Interdisciplinary Science Center In Washington

The 102,000 Sft Building Creates A New Hub And Gateway For Science On Campus.

Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center

Photos by Adam Hunter/LMN Architects

Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University

Seattle, Washington – October 26, 2021 – LMN Architects is pleased to celebrate the completion of the Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. Located at the center of the academic complex and the campus, the new building is characterized by porous, transparent, and vibrant social spaces supporting a variety of teaching laboratories that put science on display.

The Interdisciplinary Science Center (ISC) for physics, chemistry, biology, and geology at Eastern Washington University (EWU) places science prominently within the public life of the University. The building completes the western edge of Arevalo Student Mall, and to the south, it accommodates and amplifies a primary pedestrian corridor, connecting the central campus to the growing athletics precinct to the west. Along this pathway, the building and its bridges frame a significant new campus gateway that will reinforce the prominence of the Science Education programs at Eastern Washington University. The facility is connected to the existing Science Building Center by two enclosed pedestrian bridges, forming a single integrated facility between the two structures.

Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center

David Bowman, Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at EWU comments: “The new Interdisciplinary Science Center is changing the face of science at Eastern Washington University. It’s a state-of-the-art, student-centered, and visually stunning facility, but most of all, it’s a place where future scientists, businesspeople, and leaders can build a community while learning about the sciences that have and will continue to shape our world.”

Stephen Van Dyck, Partner, LMN Architects, comments: “Together with Eastern Washington University and our team of consultants, we have designed the Interdisciplinary Science Center as an extroverted and welcoming new addition to the Eastern campus. Through its planning and expression, the building expands the University’s prominence and capacity in the sciences and transforms the campus experience along a major pedestrian corridor.”

Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center

The new ISC is designed to be a teaching tool itself. Inside the building, laboratory instrument exhibits and educational displays are integrated throughout its central corridor walls, creating an interactive educational environment, and connecting the laboratory and corridor in a dynamic exchange of filtered views. Outside the building, the landscape design features significant geologic specimens along site walls and native plant species arrayed among the building’s various micro-climates and was conceived through close collaboration with the teaching faculty.

Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University

The architectural composition presents a four-level, brick-clad, rectangular form with prominent voids at either end. Within each void, a crystalline glass wall marks major entries and social spaces. “The building is designed to be both symbolic and intuitive,” says Van Dyck. “The logic of the panelized brick enclosure gives way to the unexpected. These moments of punctuation and pause frame the spaces where people come together, connecting the activity of the building within to the campus beyond.”

The rectilinear form of the building is clad with a panelized red brick façade system, alternately staggered in elevation to reveal a consistent rhythm of windows into the laboratory spaces within. The envelope system is detailed with a purity and simplicity to match the building’s composition, with black metal trim elements simplifying the joints between panels and windows. The planar brick panels are accentuated with a subtle mix of cascading glazed surfaces, animating the façade in a continual play of subtle reflection throughout the day.

Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University

The internal organization of the building follows the linear movement through the site, with laboratories flanking either side of a generous central corridor on all floors. The building responds to the site topography through its internal circulation and features a prominent stair at the eastern entry that leads to the second level corridor and western entry beyond. A lecture hall on Level 1 is carved into the sloping site forming the terminus of that level in the hillside.

EWU ISC building by LMN Architects

The three levels above feature a linear arrangement of laboratories, each with a corner display window that visually connects the teaching spaces to the social life of the building. Laboratories are tailored to the unique needs and special requirements of each department and are interconnected along the exterior edge of the building via a “ghost” corridor to adjacent prep rooms. A multipurpose gathering space on the fourth floor is accentuated with faceted glass walls facing south and east and features an adjacent terrace with views over the campus to the landscape and mountains beyond.

EWU ISC building in Cheney, Washington, USA

Jennifer Milliron, Principal, LMN Architects, comments: “The Interdisciplinary Science Center demonstrates our commitment to supporting client goals through innovation, research, and sustainability. Through close collaboration with Eastern Washington University and the faculty, we were able to create a unique science ecosystem that is finely tuned to meet their teaching needs, foster collaboration across the departments and create a new face for science on campus.”

The project has received LEED Gold certification. Some of the sustainable strategies include low-flow fume hoods and heat recovery pipes, rainwater harvesting, xeriscaping, and inclusion of botanical and geological landscape elements that serve as teaching tools. Each laboratory is a complex, yet simple composition of private and public spaces that elevate the social experience. The building is in dialogue with the academic context, and the design is a highly ordered study in scale, materiality, transparency, and natural light.

Eastern Washington University Cheney campus plan

The ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 22 with State Senator Jeff Holy, State Representative Marcus Riccelli, Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner, EWU Interim President Dr. David May, Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Dr. David Bowman, Student Representative Taryn Wilson, Alumni Representative Darby McLean, and STEM representatives.

LMN Architects is a leader in the design of higher education facilities in North America. Other completed projects include the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington; the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; the Anteater Learning Pavilion at the University of California, Irvine; and the Plant Sciences Building at Washington State University.

Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University interior

Interdisciplinary Center at Eastern Washington University – Building Information

Project Title: Interdisciplinary Science Center

Location: Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, USA

Client: Eastern Washington University

Design Years: 2016-2017

Construction Years: 2018-2021

Major Building Materials: Brick, Curtainwall, and Composite Metal Panel

Program: Teaching Laboratories, Laboratory Support, 100-seat Classroom and Pre-function Space, Lobby, Lounge, Seminar Room, Study Spaces, and Technician Offices

Site Area: 97,500 SFT (9,058 s.m.)

Floor Area: 102,700 SFT (9,541 s.m.)

Building Height: 66’. (20.1 m.)

Number of Floors: 4

Project Images

Photography Credit: Adam Hunter/LMN Architects

Publication Drawings: Courtesy LMN Architects

Eastern Washington University auditorium interior

Project Credits

Architect: LMN Architects, 801 Second Avenue, Suite 501, Seattle, Washington 98104

Project Team:
Kjell Anderson, AIA
Greg Bishop, AIA
Dean Clark, AIA
Sara Clinch
Steve DelFraino, AIA
Stephen Van Dyck, AIA
Matthew Fisher, AIA
Tanner Kirchoff, AIA
Sam Miller, FAIA
Jennifer Milliron, Assoc. AIA
Erik Perka, Assoc. AIA
Julia Reeve, AIA

Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Inc.

Contractor & Construction Manager: Lydig Construction

Landscape Architect: Berger Partnership

Lighting Design: MW Consulting Engineers

MEP Engineer: MW Consulting Engineers

Laboratory Planning Consultant: Research Facilities Design (RFD)

Structural Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Inc.

Eastern Washington University ISC interior design

LMN Architects Seattle

Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center Building information from LMN Architects 261021

Location: Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, United States of America

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