ZGF, in association with Page, programmed and designed the Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Building (SEIR)—a four-story, 229,206 SF hub for interdisciplinary research and innovation across the health sciences. The new building brings together research neighborhoods, collaboration spaces, and teaching facilities where faculty, students, and staff can engage with one another and with experts from the community and private sectors.
SEIR’s program spaces are all organized around the Main Hall – a soaring, five-story space for circulation, study, and gathering. Housing a café and flexible furniture for individual focus or collaborative projects, the Main Hall is a bustling hub of student activity. A large window between the Main Hall and laboratory wing allows students and building visitors to observe scientists at work.
The building houses diverse laboratories: core laboratories provide shared research facilities; clinical laboratories support nursing research on volunteer human subjects; flexible “dry” laboratories for virtual / computational research studies; flexible “wet” laboratories; and purpose-built chemistry laboratories. The balance between wet and dry laboratories was a key point of program study, and multiple hybrid wet / dry neighborhoods were designed to promote collaboration between research groups.
Located on a prominent site at the southern edge of campus, SEIR creates a new gateway experience. The site design aligns with the University’s long-term campus master plan while framing new outdoor spaces. The building connects directly, via a two-story bridge, to the existing Life Sciences Building, growing the long-term value of an existing asset while increasing planning flexibility for the campus.
SEIR’s exterior design is simple and dignified and features precise proportions, generous windows, and local Texas limestone. The building exceeds LEED Silver® standards for new construction, integrating the performance of the building’s massing, envelope, shading, mechanical system, and daylighting potential.