Plant Sciences Building, Washington State University - Exterior

Plant Sciences Building
Washington State University


Pullman, Washington


Washington State University

Collaborators +

Design-Build Contractor: Skanska

Laboratory Planning: Research Facilities Design

Structural Engineering: Magnusson Klemencic Associates

MEP Engineering: MW Consulting Engineers

Civil Engineering: Coughlin Porter Lundeen

Landscape Architecture: Berger Partnership

Lighting Design: MW Consulting Engineers

Project Size

82,476 square feet

Project Status



Architecture, Interior Design, Planning

Washington State University is a preeminent agricultural research institution, committed to fostering its land-grant heritage and tradition of service to society. The Plant Sciences Building integrates several disciplines from the College of Agricultural, Human, & Natural Resource Sciences and is central to fulfilling this mission. The building is the new center for interdisciplinary research and provides new infrastructure for the Institute of Biological Chemistry, as well as laboratories that integrate faculty and students in plant biochemistry, pathology, horticulture, and crop and soil sciences into a single state-of-the-art facility.

Positioned between the Biotechnology/Life Sciences building and the Food Science and Human Nutrition Building the 82,430 square foot building is the fourth of six planned buildings to be realized in the master plan and forms a prominent entry for the V. Lane Rawlins Research and Education Complex. The entrance is emphasized by a dramatic cantilever and is composed of benches and a landscape that echo the gentle Palouse hills of the region.

The new Plant Sciences Building is at the center of the master plan and reflects the university’s mission of innovation with pioneering construction techniques, natural light, and an apparent simplicity that challenges the traditional laboratory typologies. The academic programs carried out in the building will support present and future needs of the diverse agricultural economy across the nation and will provide learning opportunities for future scientists at all levels of training.

Photography: Benjamin Benschneider, Adam Hunter

Plant Sciences Building, Washington State University - Interior

A simple structural grid and circulation corridor allow efficient and flexible layouts for modular laboratories that can be rearranged with partitions and benches depending on the grants assigned for research and space needs.

Plant Sciences Building, Washington State University - Exterior
Plant Sciences Building, Washington State University - Exterior

The school has a standard brick palette that was considered for the mixture used for the precast panels. Tilted bricks have an organic pattern arranged in vertical bands and start flat at the top and then tilt and open as you get closer to the ground, reflecting a rigorous organization system, but with variety enhanced by the various gradients animated by natural light.



Design-Build Contractor


Selected Awards

2020 DJC 2020 Building of the Year, Top 5