SUNY New Paltz (1966)
New Paltz, NY
Recognizing change as a constant factor in scientific education, the design of these laboratories focuses on the process of learning rather than on the specific equipment to be provided of facts to be learned. To achieve a dynamic learning environment, which would help break down the barrier between disciplines, it was essential to create a truly flexible building.
The key to functional flexibility is the modular lightweight interior framing system — fastened to the floor and ceiling joists — into which a versatile range of furniture, equipment and services can be hooked. A consistent planning module puts preparation of faculty research areas immediately adjacent to each teaching lab, with sliding doors in between. Outside the labs, a 10-ft wide corridor is enlivened by narrow windows that yield glimpses of the work going on inside.
Sculptural staircases at the building ends clearly announce the location and orientation of the laboratory within the overall campus circulation system.