Completed in 2008, the addition to Coover Hall reflects the College of Engineering and the ECpE Departments vision for academic excellence. The addition provides flexible and well supported lab space for classrooms, teaching, and research labs while integrating architecturally with the existing facility. A second phase of work involved the renovation of the existing Coover Hall for departmental faculty and student offices, with additional interactive spaces. The addition created an outdoor courtyard, which is utilized for student, faculty, and public interaction and presentations.
Key design challenges for this project included creating via the addition a new, forward-thinking physical image for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, incorporating the additional building program on the highly constrained site, and planning the addition and renovations to minimize disruption to the ongoing academic programs of the Department during construction.
The programming created six distinct “districts” within the addition:
- Public classrooms on major corridor
- Departmental administration and support
- Interdisciplinary research lab clusters
- Teaching Lab clusters
- Research Lab clusters
- Faculty and graduate student office clusters
The exterior forms and materials of the new addition provide a contemporary complement to the existing building. A horizontally proportioned elegant metal and glass volume supported on a brick plinth encompasses the new addition. A zinc-clad classroom volume gives a defining edge to the new major entry. The continuation of the brick plinth bearing a brick enclosed stair and teaching spaces form a unique material connection to the existing structure of Coover Hall.
Designed in collaboration with laboratory specialists, Ellenzweig Architects