Halbert Walling Exteriors
Halbert Walling Exteriors

Abilene Christian University Onstead Science Center and Halbert-Walling Research Center

Abilene, Texas
Destination: Science Education

Abilene Christian University leaders had long dreamed of a new kind of academic building to support the study and advancement of the sciences. They imagined creating a sought-after destination where students would feel empowered to collaborate and explore; a place where curiosity could reign and innovation could take hold.

Our design of the Onstead Science Center and the Halbert-Walling Research Center made that dream—and that destination—a reality. The Science Center allows the university to showcase its latest work while providing an academic environment ripe for scientific immersion. The Research Center fosters a learning culture that embraces discovery and outside-the-box thinking.

Today, both Centers elevate Abilene Christian University’s academic reputation, helping to attract an even greater number of talented students and faculty members.

Sketch of Atrium
“An amazing facility that gets more spectacular as you wander through.”

Dr. Phil Schubert, ACU President

Halbert-Walling Ceneter Students Studying

The atrium serves as an extension of the exterior park space connecting students and faculty to nature while sitting in group and individual seating zones at multiple levels. Science labs and classrooms have been positioned around the central core; windows on both interior and exterior provide students with natural lighting throughout the day.

Halbert-Walling Labs Atrium
Visibility of active teaching promotes the idea of transparency while circulating throughout the campus.
Halbert-Walling Research Center
Students Drawing on Marker Board
This student-centric building includes a 3,000 square foot atrium dedicated as a student commons area with soft seating, collaboration areas, writable walls, natural light, and AV systems.
Student Focused Design

Two large interior terraces overlook the atrium and provide more collaboration areas. Throughout the building, science is on display with substantial interior glazing opportunities, providing a glimpse into every teaching lab environment from the public corridors.

Halbert-Walling Center Atrium
Classrooms, group, and individual seating areas seen at one glance.
Students in a classroom
Students learning in a classroom with science on display, utilizing transparent graphics for classroom visibility.
Onstead Science Center walking bridge
Onstead Science Center
What Makes it Cool
Both the Onstead Science Center and the Halbert-Walling Research Center foster a culture that embraces discovery, innovation, and collaboration, and better allow ACU to fulfill its mission of educating students.

Project Team

Ed Cordes
Ron Stelmarski
Diego Rozo
Andrew Brown
Kevin Mereness
Kevin Mereness