State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Buffalo, New York

Project Info
State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Buffalo, New York
Completion Date: 2011
Square Footage: 135,000
LEED Gold Certified

The expanding School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at the University of Buffalo (UB) needed a total expansion and modernization of its outdated facilities, which had required UB researchers to use temporary buildings and other universities' laboratories for many years. Perkins+Will provided a new design for the SEAS buildings, which created a new and distinct image for the school and continues to attract and maintain top faculty and students. The new engineering building houses two programs of study, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering. Deriving inspiration from these programs, we designed the exterior envelope as an architectural manifestation of electrical engineering and computer research activity. The building's signature design is reminiscent of printed circuit boards and the panels wrapping the building are suggestive of copper electronic wiring. We concentrated on the primary concepts of connectedness and collaboration in the design of the building, which is planned as two separate and functionally distinct blocks for "computational" and "hardware" research that are joined by a glass-enclosed, multi-story gallery. The glass gallery acts as a science commons that includes open staircases allowing for spontaneous student and staff interaction. There are also windows into the laboratories for passersby to observe technological research within. Throughout the building, cross-disciplinary zones are distributed for informal gathering spaces equipped with SMART Boards. The research programs within the 135,000 square foot building includes electrical engineering's multi-directional ultraviolet (UV) lithography, Photonics and Biophotonics, and a Center on Hybrid Nanodevices and Systems within a suite of class 2, 3 and 4 laser laboratories. The Computer Science research program includes Advanced Wireless Communications, Digital and Multimedia Technology, Biosensors/Bioelectronics, Cyber and Network Security, Advanced Network Technologies and SAR High Performance Computing.