“From floor to ceiling, the EERC was designed to do more than simply facilitate classes, research and meetings. We envisioned a facility that would inspire creativity and motivate students to think bigger.”
The program is organized efficiently into two limestone and glass towers, acknowledging the substantially different requirements for labs, offices and work spaces of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and interdisciplinary research. The two towers are connected by an enclosed public atrium, which is the central focus and provides an enclosed path between distinct parts of campus.
The glass-roofed, three-story atrium softens the scale of the nine-story towers, where inwardly-oriented glass curtain wall facades provide a vital visual link between the major user groups and bind the project together as a cohesive statement about engineering education and research. As a vibrant, light-filled space lined with an array of space types, the atrium creates a sense of community and identity for the Cockrell School while hosting many functions, such as casual study and interaction, organized student gatherings, visual display, open houses, or fundraising events.
Prominently visible through floor-to-ceiling glass along the north wall of the atrium is a paradigm-shifting undergraduate teaching space called The National Instruments Student Project Center. This 23,000 SF suite of space is dedicated to state-of-the-art, project-based interdisciplinary learning.
Part teaching lab, part makerspace, part core labs, The National Instruments Student Project Center is intended to place the most advanced tools and methods in engineering research into the hands of undergraduates as early as possible. The honest expression of raw concrete, fully exposed ductwork and piping, and glass walls from room to room serves to put engineering on display to all who pass through the building. The Student Project Center is a new and groundbreaking aspect of the Cockrell School’s curriculum and will shape the careers of future engineers.
Interdisciplinary Research Laboratories, Teaching Laboratories, Auditorium, Classrooms, Meeting Facilities, Central Atrium, Centralized Student Services