University of Colorado Boulder JILA Addition

University of Colorado JILA

University of Colorado Boulder JILA Addition

Balancing "Light & Matter" in a Lab Addition

The Joint Institute of Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) is a partnership between the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology with seven major research thrusts: astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, biophysics, chemical physics, nanoscience, optical physics and precision measurement. JILA scientists explore some of today’s most challenging and fundamental scientific questions about quantum physics including the design of precision optics and atom lasers, the nature of matter, and processes that shape the stars and galaxies.

The JILA addition is an extension of the existing JILA building located on the Main Campus at CU-Boulder. Designed to encourage collaboration, the multi-disciplinary research institute brings together University faculty from a broad spectrum of academic departments with NIST research staff to explore fundamental scientific questions in quantum physics.  It houses light-, vibration-, and acoustic-sensitive laboratories as well as graduate and post-doc offices, seminar rooms, and conference and training facilities.

Design features include:

  • Envelope design responsive to the architecture of JILA, originally designed by Harry Weese
  • Massing responsive to the scale of the adjacent Baker Hall
  • Plaza at the foot of the tower integrates the flow of pedestrians with space for seating and repose
  • A central stair inspired by the quarterly JILA magazine “Light & Matter”:  The stair captures and transmits ‘Light’ six stories below – so the two levels of below grade labs have access to daylight. Each stair landing is grounded in a circle of earth ’Matter’: textural materials including a stone wall and a product that evokes the sense of water as it moves light within its channels. This stair encourage interaction between floors with seating at landings and 6’ wide treads.
University of Colorado JILA
University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, CO
United States

54,000 SF (5016 m²)