Physical Sciences Complex

UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
Construction of open courtyard area - September 2013, Physical Science Complex, College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US - sketch
Sketch, UMD Physical Science Complex, College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US - sketch
Model, UMD Physical Science Complex, College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
UMD Physical Science Complex | College Park, MD, US
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, USA

To make physical science more accessible and exciting to the student body, the University of Maryland is moving towards multi-disciplinary approach, combining theoretical and applied sciences. Beginning with a clear campus master plan, the new Physical Sciences Facility illustrates an approach to weave various disciplines not only into the facility itself, but also into the fabric of the campus.

HDR created an unexpected yet aesthetically pleasing design solution for the Physical Sciences Building that works on many levels. Faced with a "difficult" site, the team embraced existing constraints, such as the pedestrian circulation pattern, to facilitate relationships among various disparate groups, connect new and existing buildings, and maintain campus circulation patterns. The memorable design offers a clear identity to the new facility and celebrates the University's prominence in physical sciences and astronomy: its central location make it a new landmark for the campus.

The building acts as both an advertisement and welcoming committee for the Department of Physics. As students and faculty make their way to the building through campus, they discover an unexpected and welcoming courtyard underneath the building. Floor-to-ceiling glazing allows them views into the building to see faculty and students gathering in a café or observe projects on display in the lobby. Looking up through the "window to the skies," they can see offices for theorists and astronomers. The physics department itself is appropriately rooted in the earth, with sensitive laboratories far below grade.

Originally designed to meet LEED Silver requirements, the facility exceeded expectations with a LEED Gold certification.


Awards

  • 2014 Merit Award, Built: Open category - American Institute of Architects (AIA), New Jersey chapter
  • 2014 Award of Merit, Higher Education/Research category - Engineering News-Record​ (ENR) Mid-Atlantic