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FSU Life Sciences Building

This building is the latest university facility to be constructed in the “Sciences Quad” and is the third of four buildings planned for this quadrangle site. The building includes state of the art research and teaching labs, administrative and faculty office spaces, a 160 seat lecture auditorium, lab animal space with a below-grade cagewash facility and rooftop greenhouses. Above the cagewash, a garden roof provides a pedestrian transition between the parking garage to the south and the central green space to the north. The building achieved LEED Certified level.

Conceptually, the building was conceived as two parallel rectangular “bars” separated by a transparent link which houses the monumental stairway and allows for a day lit transition space between the two separate building areas. The two bars slide past each other in response to site conditions and a strong visual axis originating to the north of the project site. The auditorium asserts itself as a strong figural element in contrast to the rigorous serial nature mandated by the function of the laboratory blocks. Copper and precast concrete have been utilized to assist in identifying and codifying the more public nature of this portion of the building program. The four greenhouse units simulate “roof dormers” in exterior profile but the exaggerated scale and transparency defies the traditional reading of this historic stylistic feature.

The exterior appearance of the building is consistent with the University’s Architectural Guidelines and draws on familiar features of the Collegiate Gothic vocabulary. Stylistic features include steeply pitched clay or concrete tile roofs, brick walls, mullioned window profiles and decorative cast stone stringcourses. The building uses some of these familiar elements but does so in a transitional manner, avoiding the trap of becoming a literal copy of the earlier work.

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