This mixed-use science complex in Los Angeles combines laboratories, faculty offices and research facilities as interdisciplinary neighborhoods. Thanks to its innovative organization and state-of-the-art features, the new Life Sciences Building at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) has won the New Building Merit Award by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), and the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA-CAE). But it's most impressive feature? A sprawling green roof used as a teaching tool.
Designed by CO Architects, the 100,000 square-foot complex facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration between faculty members, students, and researchers. In order to break the tradition of separate research and teaching, the architects provided open, public meetings spaces with large glass surfaces allowing visual contact between labs and promoting a more open attitude towards science.
Various sustainable features complement the innovative layout. An outdoor laboratory located on the second floor terrace has growing containers that allow researchers and students to experiment with plant research. A huge, three-story green roof features drought-tolerant planted areas that function as teaching tools. Additionally, a large solar array generates 10 percent of the building’s electricity. These features combined led to the building’s LEED-Gold certification.
Photos by Bill Timmerman