The Peter L. and Clara M. Scott Laboratory at The Ohio State University replaces an out-dated building with a complex of structures that enclose a courtyard on three sides, interconnected by a glass enclosed bridge. A primary project goal was to raise awareness of the vitality of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and provide a distinct identity for its students. While the campus-oriented faades are articulated in brick and stone in response to the University context in material, quality and scale, the courtyard-oriented faades, utilize translucent materials, undulating surfaces and a smaller scale to distinguish the Department from the greater campus. The transparent bridge, along with the glass faades and curtainwalls that comprise the complex, reveal glimpses into the building and invite curiosity inside.
The building has many dynamic interior and exterior spaces that serve as the setting for informal interactions. Atria and lobbies of varying scales are located at multiple points in the building at critical circulation nodes and provide spaces for casual, impromptu encounters outside of the structured setting of the classroom and laboratory.
Sited strategically along primary campus circulation paths, the courtyard provides an open green space in the campus fabric and draws activity to the building. Multiple entries to the courtyard promote its use as a gathering place, a connector to the campus and a venue for exhibiting student work.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering was insistent upon the building having flexibility to accommodate their varying and changing needs. To this end, the laboratories were designed on a planning module to allow for alterationexpansion or contractionof individual labs as change arises. The buildings infrastructure is configured to allow for ease of access, permitting layouts to be modified and expanded with moving partitions that permit a range of varying stimulating activities, including lectures, meetings, workshops and symposia.