With the goal of creating a culture for interdisciplinary research and translational breakthroughs in engineering design, medicine, and the basic and applied sciences, Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering required a state-of-the-art facility to support the development of new products, processes, diagnostic techniques, and therapies for improving the human condition and the environment.

The resulting 330,000 SF Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences  (FCIEMAS) supports teaching and research efforts in bioengineering, photonics and communications systems, integrated sensors and simulators, materials sciences, and materials engineering. It also expands Pratt’s partnership with the medical school, providing laboratories for collaborative research in healthcare, genomics, and biotechnology. Program elements include research and teaching laboratories, a 22,500 SF cleanroom, a characterization and testing facility (Class 1000 to Class 100), a 206-seat conference center, lecture halls, classrooms, and administrative spaces.

FCIEMAS consists of two buildings linked by a publicly accessible atrium and conference center, which provides the engineering school with indoor gathering spaces and identity within the larger campus environs. Serving as a catalyst for the formation of a new engineering quadrangle, the buildings are sited in front of the existing engineering building and form a new pedestrian axis and open space to integrate the new facility with the historic core of the west academic campus. Native materials help mold the pedestrian and landscape experience of the new facilities and connecting forest pathways. The project site was chosen to encourage use of public transportation, including a planned intermodal transit station.

The two- and three-story buildings are sensitively scaled to relate to the neighboring campus environment. Two towers provide the center with its most distinctive visual motifs. With generous use of “Duke stone” and the repetition of thin vertical facade elements, the buildings relate well to the academic gothic architectural style of the nearby historic heart of the west campus. The project is LEED Silver®.