Argonne National Laboratory Energy Sciences Building

Energy Sciences Building Exterior

Argonne National Laboratory Energy Sciences Building

An Anchor for an Interdisciplinary, Sustainable Campus

The Energy Sciences Building signals the transformation of Argonne's campus to an interdisciplinary and sustainable campus; with its north entrance façade becoming a new face for science. Its design ushers in a change to a pedestrian-focused campus, with the road outside closed to vehicles, and new links created to connect other buildings around a new energy sciences quadrangle. A "sky-gate" at the end of the building anchors the pedestrian path that links to the campus.

Throughout the design process, the design team held open meetings and workshops for any scientists and staff members interested in attending; fostering connections even before the building was completed. The participatory, transparent approach helped to change the direction of a slow-moving government work culture to a more open, industry-competitive way of working.

Key features include:

  • A new architectural vocabulary celebrates the trans-disciplinary science, while complementing the red brick buildings on campus. The ESB is clad in glass curtain wall and bronze-colored metal panels, and is designed to be transparent, revealing activity inside.
  • A simple building plan with two large, open labs on each floor is bisected by the entrance and collaboration atrium.
  • Extremely efficient labs utilize a central service corridor and utility zone providing 37 different gases.  
  • Open and closed offices and meeting spaces line the exterior walls of the lab floors.
  • The building utilizes a free-address system that is project- and tool-based, moving away from a departmental structure.
Energy Sciences Building Exterior
University of Chicago, LLC at Argonne National Laboratory

Lemont, IL
United States

158,000 sf (14,680 m²)


Green GOOD DESIGN Award (2016)
Chicago Athenaeum & European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies
Top Ten LEED Projects, Selected (2014)
Interiors & Sources Magazine
Secretary's Achievement Award (2015)
U.S. Department of Energy
Merit Award (2014)
New Construction Category
Chicago Building Congress
International Illumination Design Awards, Award of Merit (2014)
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, District of Columbia Section
Honors Award (2014)
Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute