Ursinus College Innovation and Discovery Center

Ursinus College Innovation and Discovery Center

“The Innovation and Discovery Center is leading the way in how a new generation of liberal arts undergraduates pursue scientific knowledge. The IDC recognizes that we must teach to careers that haven’t been invented yet, which is why it will infuse policy, entrepreneurship and science with a new approach. This ambitious, once-in-a-generation facility fosters creative and innovative thinking, which has always been a hallmark of the Ursinus experience.”

- Brock Blomberg, President of Ursinus College

Ursinus College Innovation and Discovery Center

42,000 gsf - $20 million - 2018

Since its founding in 1869, Ursinus College has recognized science as an integral part of a liberal arts education, and central to its mission as an institution. The Innovation and Discovery Center—a new building that expands and advances the science facilities of the College—represents a new era in interdisciplinary education and undergraduate research at Ursinus.

 

Ellenzweig’s planning and design of the Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC) continues the collaboration with Ursinus College that began in the early 1990’s with an addition and renovations to the Pfahler Hall science building. The IDC physically connects Pfahler Hall and a second science building, Thomas Hall, forming an integrated learning and research complex. The IDC is truly interdisciplinary in nature and incorporates advanced functionality for teaching, laboratory work, observations, creative brainstorming, and student-faculty research. It houses two of the College’s academic centers: the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies and the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good, thus promoting a commingling of ideas related to ethics, business, philosophy, entrepreneurship, and the sciences.

 

Program components include a learning commons; maker space; active learning classrooms including an outdoor classroom and rooftop terrace teaching space; flexible laboratories and classrooms for Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Math and Computer Science, Neuroscience, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, and Anatomy and Physiology; lab support facilities; a vivarium; offices, and a variety of meeting and social spaces.

 

The Innovation and Discovery Center puts science on display in a contemporary environment designed to foster collaboration and interaction. Openness and transparency are the hallmarks of the teaching, research, and social spaces, promoting connectivity among the academic programs and the physical environment of the newly formed science complex. The exterior design is in keeping with the contemporary mission of the science being conducted within, yet sympathetic in materials and massing to Pfahler and Thomas Halls and the larger campus.

 

Design of the Innovation and Discovery Center was preceded by a master planning study of the College’s science facilities, which involved a detailed programming effort to determine the spatial requirements for the science and interdisciplinary programs over a 10-year period. The planning process involved an analysis of multiple additional space options. The Innovation and Discovery Center is the outgrowth of that Master Plan.

Ursinus College Innovation and Discovery Center

Ursinus College Innovation and Discovery Center