Van H. Gilbert Architect PC

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Science and Math Learning Center
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

The Science and Math Learning Center continues the transformation of the University’s western boundary into a gateway to the technological center of the campus. With its focus on technology-rich spaces the SMLC accommodates a diversity of users and fosters innovation in a sustainable, energy-efficient setting. The building houses much of the Mathematics and Statistics Department and integrates technology-rich chemistry and biology teaching labs/classrooms with a 200-seat auditorium, a visualization lab, ‘smart’ classrooms, and a cafe.

A three-story light-well connects the south facing lab wing with faculty offices and the classrooms. Flooded with natural light, the central gathering area provides flexible social interaction spaces or places for quiet study in the main-floor learning alcoves. Integrated technologies and distance hook-ups enable the users to interact with other facilities across the country.

Located in UNM’s Historic Campus between two buildings of smaller scale and near VHGA’s Centennial Engineering Center, the building is a contemporary interpretation of UNM’s distinctive, historic “pueblo revival” style established as the campus design idiom by John Gaw Meem in 1933. The massing, forms, materials, and colors of the SMLC tie into the “pueblo” style and serve to unify the regional quality of the campus while clearly projecting the high tech learning and research going on within the space. Exterior detailing responds to the strong New Mexico sun with deeply set windows on the east and west facades and sophisticated sun shades and light shelves at the south facade.

Van H. Gilbert Architect PC worked in association with Shepley Bulfinch of Boston.

  • Anticipated LEED® Gold Certification
  • Top Starts 2009, Southwest Contractor Magazine