Butler Tech Natural Science Center

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

The Natural Science Center (NSC) Campus has a rich history as a working farm spanning over 75 years, featuring various barns and agricultural buildings. However, the classroom facilities had been housed in double-wide trailers for the past decade. While these trailers served the purpose of accommodating the horse barn, riding area, and animal pen/classroom building, Butler Tech recognized the need for a new, cutting-edge classroom and laboratory building that would align with the farm's aesthetic and support the curriculum programs.

To enhance the learning experience and update the physical facilities, a state-of-the-art academic building was designed for the NSC Campus. It boasts extensive indoor common spaces that foster collaboration between different programs such as vet science, equine science, green engineering, and landscape design. The building features a full science lab, renewable energy lab, and dedicated classroom space to facilitate daily curriculum requirements.

The interior spaces are thoughtfully designed to establish a strong visual connection with the surrounding exterior, seamlessly blending the indoors with the outdoors. Garage doors are strategically placed within the common areas and classrooms, allowing for flexible learning environments, while abundant natural light floods the interior spaces. The building harnesses active solar and wind renewable energy as both a power generator and an opportunity for hands-on curriculum exploration.

The monumental stair and student forum serve as the central hub of the campus, accommodating various functions such as dining, classroom activities, lectures, and lounging. This interior space not only fosters interaction but also acts as a focal point for the entire campus.

The building itself functions as a "machine for learning," providing spaces that not only accommodate user engagement but also serve as tools for education. Students have the opportunity to actively operate and interact with the building and site, transforming them into instruments of instruction rather than passive structures.

The new academic building and the NSC Campus as a whole attract students from the region who are interested in agricultural and animal sciences. By offering versatile spaces that cater to various functions, whether for large group activities, small group collaboration, or individual study, the building facilitates a dynamic learning environment.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

August, 2022