Project DescriptionFROM AIA MARYLAND:
Planning and design of the New Bioscience Education Center (BEC) was undertaken to facilitate a world class biotechnology, biology and chemistry program to attract students, faculty, sponsors and corporate partners from around the world. Located north of the proposed Germantown Biotechnology Business Park, the BEC serves the needs of the thriving biotechnology industry in Montgomery County and further strengthens the State of Maryland’s position as a global leader in bioscience and technology education. Recently, the focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education has grown significantly, specifically its correlation to students entering the workforce in the critical fields that drive the nation’s innovation and competitiveness. The BEC represents a significant investment in STEM education and workforce development in Montgomery County. The three-story building houses both general and specialty laboratory teaching and research space, including classrooms, recitation rooms, wet laboratories, science learning center, detached greenhouse complex, offices to support the biology, biotechnology and chemistry curricula, and Smart Instructor Work Stations. The BEC also houses a Conference Center which the school uses to bring students together with potential employers from the surrounding area. The Conference Center can house large events, as well as several smaller events and allows for breakout areas and catering. The design works to attract students and corporate partners and fosters the growing relationship between the two. Many factors were considered when approaching the concept design for the BEC. At the forefront was the site, particularly its dramatic elevation changes, along with its relationship to existing campus buildings, as well as proposed construction and development, including the proposed Biotechnology Park and a new Student Resource Center (SRC). The completion of the BEC, situated to the southeast of the existing Science and Applied Studies Building (SASB) has created a new student quad that fosters connectivity between the SASB, BEC and future Student Resource Center. The BEC, with its atrium and projecting roof, creates a welcoming gesture from the parking to the new quad. The Center has been designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and features numerous sustainable elements, intended to be used as teaching tools in and of themselves - including roof-mounted wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panel system, and green roof.
From the soaring roof form that announces the building entry to the sustainable design elements to the educational goals & programs, this new bioscience education center succeeds through design excellence in creating light-filled spaces to support their 21st century research. The building volumes and exterior materials define program use and respond to site orientation with clarity. Site orientation supports sustainability goals and offers East-facing interior and exterior connections to the campus plan.