Flad Architects Receives Pair of 2014 AIA Wisconsin Design Awards

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The 2014 AIA Design Award Committee selects two projects designed by Flad Architects to receive Honor Awards in this year's competition.

The 2014 Design Award Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today the selection of two projects designed by Flad Architects as Honor Award recipients in this year’s Wisconsin Design Awards competition. Architectural design work recognized includes the new Biochemical Sciences Complex at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and additions to the Technological Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Founded in 1883, the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin is built on a strong foundation of important molecular and biological breakthroughs. As the program continues to grow, embracing an ever-widening diversity of scientific challenges, the infrastructure needs have changed as well. The Biochemical Sciences Complex repurposes the site’s century-old and history-rich buildings for undergraduate instruction while a new, state-of-the art research tower supports ongoing innovation and exploration.

"At a time when the higher education enterprise is being challenged to reconsider its established assumptions, this project has created a physical environment capable of fostering learning, research, and community on campus today and tomorrow,” said Dan Okoli, University Architect. “The collaborative social atmosphere and flexible learning spaces that are now part of this complex have made it a place where people truly want to be.”

The Biochemical Sciences Complex has created a physical environment capable of fostering learning, research, and community. Arrangement of each floor revolves around the core desire to bring people together for the benefit of a deeper, more developed understanding of complicated scientific issues. The design also restores a vibrant pedestrian walkway present in the original master plan that creates a welcoming connection with the surrounding campus.

At Northwestern University, Flad designed infill additions that capitalize on space residing between existing wings of the Technological Institute, a facility built in 1942 and dedicated to engineering and science education and research. At over one million square feet, it is one of the largest academic buildings in the world – the new additions house laboratory, office, and instructional space to support the continued growth of these scientific communities.

The design centers to a large degree around access to natural daylight. Each addition is organized around a three-story, glass-roofed atrium, situated against the existing building and parallel to its main corridors. Many of the previously exterior-facing windows now look out to the atrium, preserving exposure to daylight in the corridors, allowing light to reach into labs and offices. And the centralized location and open, relaxed nature of these community spaces has made them popular meeting destinations for colleagues and study areas for students.

“The Technological Institute Additions have successfully integrated new research laboratory space within the historic building fabric. The design is respectful of the existing architecture, yet fresh and energizing,” said Bonnie Humphrey, Director Design & Construction at Northwestern. “The project’s creative use of a narrow atrium space provides a much needed building amenity while creating transparency allowing for students to experience the energy of ‘science on display’.”

About Flad Architects
Flad Architects (http://www.flad.com) specializes in the planning and design of innovative facilities for healthcare, higher education, and science and technology clients. With offices across the United States, Flad is a nationally recognized leader in serving the complex needs of knowledge-based organizations.

About the University of Wisconsin-Madison
The official state university of Wisconsin, UW-Madison (http://www.wisc.edu) is a world-class research university, nationally and internationally recognized for academic excellence, incredible students, inspiring faculty, exceptional value, and an amazing campus and community. It serves as a resource to the public and works to enhance the quality of life beyond the classroom in the state, the nation, and the world.

About Northwestern University
Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University (http://www.northwestern.edu) combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. Recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of its educational programs at all levels, this private research university provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal, and professional growth.

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Mary Hirsch
Flad Architects
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