Eastern Washington University Interdisciplinary Science Center

Cheney, Washington

Project Size:

New area: 101,352 square feetRenovated area: 1,362 square feet

Project Status:

Anticipated Completion 2020

LEED Status:

Certified LEED New Construction Gold


Civic Design, Education Design

Between 2009 and 2014, LMN performed predesign studies for Eastern Washington University’s Science I (Physics and Chemistry) and Science II (Biology and Geology) facilities, which were originally envisioned as replacements for the existing 47-year old Science Building. To make the upgrade of science facilities more economical, the space programs from the predesign studies evolved into a single Interdisciplinary Science Center that will be attached by enclosed walkways to the existing building, which will be renovated in a future project.

The new Interdisciplinary Science Center will be a 102,000 gross square foot facility housing teaching laboratories, lab support facilities, student study areas, offices and a 100- seat classroom. Each of EWU’s four science disciplines will have teaching laboratories in the new building. In order to successfully support the university’s scientific exploration, the architectural solution was driven by the complex building systems and safety requirements of state-of-the-art laboratory design and integrates the new building with the existing facility and the evolving campus.

The design team worked closely with faculty and maintenance staff to embed specimens and teaching tools within the site and building design. Close collaboration with botanists and geologists yielded a landscape design that will support their evolving pedagogy with native plants and geologically composed site walls. Laboratory instruments and educational displays are integrated along the corridor walls, allowing the community to curate an evolving interactive educational environment throughout the building.

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. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification.