University of California Irvine Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Building

Irvine, California

Project Size:

204,750 square feet

Project Status:

Anticipated Completion 2020

LEED Status:

Certified LEED New Construction Platinum


Education Design

Associate Architect:

Pascual Corona

The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building serves UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science, and the School of Physical Sciences. The project marks the fourth successful design-build collaboration between LMN and Hathaway Dinwiddie at the University, and champions the University’s commitment to advancing interdisciplinary science and engineering research.

Site and Program
The site design seamlessly integrates the new ISEB into the existing Physical Sciences neighborhood and Engineering & Computer Sciences Quad. UCI’s long-term goal of greater density within the Academic Core while retaining a pedestrian-scaled environment is addressed by a welcoming arrival plaza and a visually open, active ground floor. The ISEB’s site design employs pedestrian-oriented spaces to connect the building into the overall fabric of campus landscape, enhancing the existing social, environmental, aesthetic and functional qualities of the campus.

The program includes wet and dry laboratories, lab support spaces, research offices, formal and informal interaction spaces and an internal open-air courtyard. Laboratory modules are consolidated across fewer floor levels, providing flexibility to adapt to programmatic changes over the life of the building and optimizing building systems.

LMN’s design achieves approximately 27,700 additional square feet beyond project mandates and dedicates this additional area to program functions and interaction spaces that foster interdisciplinary collaboration.

The distinctive architectural character is a holistic response to the facility’s program functions, specific site conditions, environmental influences and mission of interdisciplinary collaboration. The overlay of the structural concrete frame, sculptural precast panels, glass and metal cladding is modulated in response to these forces—creating a distinctive, sculptural expression while enriching the character of the campus neighborhood.

Exterior arcades frame the arrival plaza and unite multiple pedestrian approaches. Interior program spaces are organized on six floor levels in an L-shape configuration, with an east-west Laboratory Bar and north Office Wing. A central Community Hub adjoins the two, serving as the focus of collaborative engagement across research disciplines. To orient building users, four interior zones that extend vertically through floor levels are defined with a unique accent color, embellishing the overall spatial organization with an additional level of detail.