Honor - SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture for a New Building

Lafayette College

Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center
Lafayette College - Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center
Jury Comments
“. . . exceeds the experiential and sustainable standards on every level . . . the vertical commons is incredible . . . used the topography to conceal the scale . . . brings a dignified presence to the site . . . turned challenges into opportunities . . .”


    • Building – 103,000 gsf / 53,000 asf
    • LEED Platinum
    • Initially considered “impossible,” the site was challenged by its triangular shape and a 25’ vertical drop.
    • A 4-story ‘vertical commons’ with a monumental stair at the heart links the academic programs and campus community spaces within.
    • It is the largest capital project in the college’s history.


With outdated facilities, growing demand for interdisciplinary science, and a concurrent 20 percent increase in the student body, the college needed significant increases in both quantity and quality science spaces. Conceived as a vertically connected walk-up science community, the design takes advantage of the topography of the site by building much of its bulk down the steep slope. With only three floors above grade, the design conceals much of the building’s volume down the hill to fit the existing context of the neighboring buildings. Providing new departmental homes for biology and computer science, the center includes teaching labs, research labs, support spaces, offices, a rooftop greenhouse, and an animal facility. The building’s interdisciplinary identity is supported by spaces for STEM leadership, the Office of Sustainability, Environmental Science and Studies, and Neuroscience.

Project Team