Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, CT, has greatly expanded their science programming with the opening of the 103,608 square foot Academic Science and Laboratory Science Building in August 2015. The new L-shaped building is sited adjacent to the existing Jennings and Morrill Halls creating a science quad on campus. This new facility supports SCSU’s commitment to expand science programs and their capacity to be a teaching and research leader in the STEM disciplines. Embracing innovative sustainable design, it houses teaching and research training laboratories for the Center for Nanotechnology, Physics, Optics, Materials Sciences, Astronomy, the Center for Coastal and Marine Studies, Environmental Studies, Earth Sciences, Chemistry, and Biology.

The building’s two wings are joined at each floor by an oval connector, or “knuckle,” that is windowed along each side with faceted glazing.

The knuckle section has architecturally exposed structural steel at several locations. Exposed cruciform column bases protrude from hemispherical pipe caps. The northern glazed wall is braced by custom stainless steel elements that echo the shape and function of a whale’s spine. This spine also serves as a lateral curtainwall support for the two-story atrium. It works through arch and catenary action. and uses recessed pin nuts at the joints and Tripyramid rods and clevises. The third floor conference room is slung from the roof through hanger rods and cradle beams.

Architect: Centerbrook Architect and Planners