Project Detail


Madonna University Franciscan Center for Science and Media

Livonia, MI United States



Project Description

The vision for Madonna University’s first new building in 40 years was to create a learning center that fosters opportunities for intellectual creativity, critical thinking and student centered instructional methodology. The facility provides a positive example of environmental stewardship, promotes community interaction, enhances the beauty of Madonna University and lifts the spirits of the users.

The Franciscan Center for Science and Media is houses a mix of instructional laboratories, faculty offices, classrooms, student gathering areas and state of the art digital TV and radio studios along with video editing suites and a 150 seat lecture hall.

The science teaching laboratories include general and micro – biology, genetics, general, organic and physical chemistry, physics and astronomy, instrumental and computational and research labs. General instructional spaces include two classrooms, two seminar rooms and a computer classroom that is configured as a video editing lab.

The interior design concept for Madonna University’s New Science and Media building has been designed through a set of design values that truly connects to the Universities holistic approach. The meaningful yet simplistic method for interior finish selections, spatial organizations and interior relationships is what makes this building interior a truly unique experience.

The overall interior finish palette is comprised of a warm and refined neutral palette that engages a mix of bright sophisticated accents. By strategic use and location of finishes as well as meaningful highlighted accents the interior provokes a comfortable yet welcoming place of teaching, learning and collaboration, one that highlights the buildings focus and mission.

The finish palette for classroom and lab spaces promotes an interior that is calm and encourages learning through a psychological approach. A unique palette was established for learning spaces and is comprised of a warm gold base that is highlighted with muted earth tones offering an encouraging and secure environment. By distinguishing learning spaces with a contrast in materiality is provides a sense of being a “special” place in the overall building context.

Faculty offices were arranged so that all individuals had access to natural daylight. The majority of private offices were installed with broadloom carpet, however cork flooring was provided in a variety of private offices to accommodate individuals with sensitivities to allergies. Each office received a sophisticated painted accent wall that added a touch of personalization which was also visible to the circulation corridor. The idea was to use accented materials that effected people on an individual and public level. This concept also enhanced way finding tactics throughout the building.

Gathering Spaces are located at nodes of circulation and movement throughout the building and at locations that were visible from the interior as well as exterior. These spaces are surrounded by the warmth of cork flooring and islands of accent carpet tile. At the large gathering space located on the first floor, a unique/ large scale carpet tile pattern was established to subconsciously create zones for different furniture arrangements. This idea provided the opportunity to use finishes as a way to create smaller intimate and informal spaces within one large space.


Project Details

Madonna University Franciscan Center for Science and Media
Shared by:
Firm Name:
Project Team:
    Paul Urbanek, Designer; Jeff Hausman, Principal-in-Charge; Lokman Abbas, Electrical Engineer; William Jensen, Project Architect; Cheryl Zuellig, Landscape Architect; Elizabeth Vandermark, Programmer & Lab Planner; Dominick Pastore, Electrical Engineer; Zhiyuan Liu, Structural Engineer; Carolina Lopez, Project Manager; Ryan Smith, Designer; Nikki Taylor, Architect; Brad Reuther, Mechanical Engineer and Commissioning Agent.
Project Scope:
Project Type:
Project Status:
Year Completed:
Project Size:
    65,000 sq ft
Construction Cost:
Green Certifications:


Please read our Content Guidelines before posting.

Other Education Projects


Other Great Lakes Projects