Architecture Week 2017 applauds great architecture! The Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science & Innovation, University of MD, by HDR, wins an AIA NJ Merit Award in the unbuilt category.

April 13, 2017

red_eagleBrendan Iribe Center for Computer Science + Innovation
HDR Brendan Center.jpg
The new Center for Computer Science + Innovation creates a renewed identity for the Computer Science department and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and will portray a progressive and contextual image on the College Park Campus that attracts curiosity and excitement, as much as it attracts students, faculty and partners. Easily visible, with views to the activity inside, it will be inherently flexible, composed of a variety of naturally – lit vibrant spaces, resulting in a building that celebrates the  importance of the computer sciences to the academic community and beyond. Sited just north of the main campus green, at an intersection between a main campus artery and highway Route 1, the building is positioned as both a gateway and a new beginning for
the University of Maryland’s computer science program.
The building addresses three main drivers:
Place. The Center for Computer Science + Innovation will be a gateway and emblem that marks a sea change in how students approach technical challenges, how faculty transfers knowledge, and how STEM disciplines collaborate through new innovative approaches. The facility is broken into two main parts — the main instructional and research space, and a 300-person auditorium with additional classroom space. The two are linked by connector space which blurs the line between inside and outside, creating a thoughtful academic and research center that links to student life and is in sync with the rhythm of the campus. To characterize the fantastic science happening within, an elaborate, solar – tuned curtain wall system was created — controlling glare and heat gain while creating an optical illusion of movement to pedestrians outside. While creating a radically new image for computer sciences, the building subtly gestures to the University’s traditions; bricks finishes on the auditorium and landscape walls evoke the Neo-Georgian campus design, and the building’s curved shape nestles within the orthogonal site plan.
People. People and ideas benefit from uninhibited collaboration and unintended social collision—serendipitous events that can lead to innovation and enhanced problem solving. The Center for Computer Science + Innovation acts as incredible catalyst for bringing people together for education, research and discovery. Multiple plazas, lawn spaces, and accessible green roofs create an inviting, accessible environment for students and faculty before drawing them into the space through 18-foot structural glass walls. The double-height ground floor is littered with opportunities for causal interaction, with seating areas, interactive displays a café, and a sculptural communicating stair. The ground floor will also be a place to host student and community activities, from job fairs to hack-a-thons. Ultimately, the facility hopes to promote collaboration with industrial and community partners and secure sponsored research grants, benefiting students and industry alike.
Innovation. The Center for Computer Science + Innovation links series of intersecting communities that combine classroom and administrative space with collaboration and research space, creating diverse nodes where students and faculty benefit from linkages across disciplines and projects, and from observing and participating in investigation, competition and research. The facility brings together faculty from a variety of disciplines that use powerful computing tools to address some of today’s most pressing scientific and societal challenges in areas such as national defense, precision medicine, big data, cyber-security and language and culture. Hacker space and maker space allow students, faculty, and industrial and community partners share knowledge and ideas via workshops, presentations and lectures, and work on projects individually or in collaboration. The balance of co-located program spaces and specialty functions is be fundamental to supporting a progressive pedagogy that reaches beyond the traditional classroom.

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