2014 American School & University Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Design Award

WBA was honored to be chosen for an outstanding design award from American School & University.


North Engineering Research Center — UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

  • Outstanding Design: Post-secondary

The North Engineering Research Center is the fourth and final piece of the University of Alabama Science and Engineering Complex providing approximately 207,000 net square feet of research and instructional laboratories, research support amenities, faculty offices, graduate student workstations, conference and meeting facilities, and collaboration spaces over three floors and a basement. The design was focused on accommodating facilities for the “clean” engineering disciplines, with over 51 separate research laboratories in support of the faculty working in five areas of ongoing materials research. The complex system of supportive mechanical systems had to be housed within the framework of a strict classical architectural context, presenting a unique marriage of timelessness and cutting edge research. A key goal of this project was to create flexible research environments, including labs and core lab areas, which can grow and change easily over time. Another key objective was to create a facility that will excite and attract both faculty and students to the University – and in particular to the Engineering disciplines. In addition to providing modern, state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities, the design strives to leverage technology and transparency to enable building occupants and visitors the opportunity to view, and gain a better understanding of the exciting research and instrumentation being utilized and developed in the building. Filled with natural light, the atrium connects the two story lobbies at the south entrance from the Commons and the entrance lobby from north campus, while also vertically connecting all three floors and the basement.  The lobby detailing is consistent with the exterior to unify the style of the complex.