The new Strong Hall Science Laboratory Building at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville is at the nexus of history and science innovation. The 1926 Strong Hall dormitory and 1875 Gardener’s Cottage were preserved and married to the 268,000 GSF state-of-the-art facility, forming the iconic “Home of the Sciences: Earth, Life, and Time.” This building of grandeur, sited atop a sloping hill, is a symbolic gateway to the expanding University campus and science programs. Home to chemistry, biology, anthropology, and earth and planetary sciences programs, the 8-story facility engenders a sense of community, supports collaboration, and encourages interdisciplinary and synergistic learning and research.
The university updated its master plan in 2011, and the process identified a deficit in general classroom, laboratory, and research space. The site of the vacant 1925 Sophronia Strong Hall was identified as an opportunity for a large and modern science class and laboratory facility.
Celebrating and contrasting the old with the new, the Science Laboratory Building honors its historic context, while exclaiming its mission of providing an innovative science building and a symbolic gateway to an expanding university campus. The design honors the rich history of the site by saving and renovating the historic Gardener’s cottage from 1875, as well as several key vestiges of the 1925 Strong Hall dormitory. True to the vision for the University of Tennessee campus, the new building style is predominantly Collegiate Gothic, designed to be an iconic “Home of the Sciences – Earth, Life, and Time” and an instant landmark within the campus district.