Purdue University, Flex Lab Facility

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Purdue University, Flex Lab Facility

The new Flex Lab facility anticipates the College of Engineering’s future research needs by providing easily-modifiable lab space calibrated to accommodate a broad range of interdisciplinary research activities.

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A super-flexible lab layout defined by re-combinable bench space and support labs, high-bay research space, low vibration basement labs for optics, and a complementary landscape of hoteling offices, open work areas, hot desk space and “work cafes” addresses the constant evolution of the engineering disciplines.

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Lab and work areas are visually connected by uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling glass that brings in daylight, puts research on display and reinforces an exciting sense of common intellectual pursuit. This transparency, coupled with Flex Lab's efficient plan, is carried into the simple form of the three-story building.

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A glass and aluminum curtainwall shifts in and out to accommodate work areas along the facade. The wall is punctuated by brick planes that break up the long facade and make the simple diagram of the plan legible in the building form.

The brick ties the building to the architecture of the main campus while the curtainwall, with its textured pattern of mullions, relates to Flex Lab's immediate surroundings in Discovery Park, the area south of Purdue's main campus where the standard of red brick and limestone has been relaxed to allow a more modern expression. The building is positioned to create a western edge to the Discovery Park's wedge-shaped lawn while setting up a future expansion to the west.

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West Lafayette, IN
108,000 GSF
Laboratories, Open Work Areas and Offices, Work Cafés


Ennead Design Team
Kevin McClurkan, Alex O'Briant, Emily Kirkland, Colin Davis, Amy Maresko
Associate Architect
Jacobs Consultancy