Science Square

Atlanta, Georgia

Science Square launches the next era of Georgia Tech’s role as a leading anchor institution in the Atlanta region. Under a new president, the university has adopted a twenty-first-century vision of positive physical, economic, and societal impact, starting with the transformation of its southwestern campus edge.

Through a partnership with the Trammell Crow Company, the university is redeveloping an 18-acre site at the nexus of campus and Atlanta’s Westside and Downtown neighborhoods – establishing a mixed-use life science hub with places for inclusive connections, research, creativity, and everyday life. Like its thriving counterpart on the east side of campus, Tech Square, Science Square promises to create a vital bridge between the university, the city, and the neighboring communities.

Science Square Labs, the life sciences anchor within the district, was designed to support a wide range of end users, facilitating laboratory tenants across the entire breadth of the private, public, and academic life sciences industry. Allowing users to tap into readily available utilities and fit-up space quickly, Science Square Labs supports each tenant’s quickest path to discovery.

The Backstory: A Road to Transformation

Originally known as Technology Enterprise Park, Georgia Tech established this hub in 2004. The university knew there was latent potential in the site to positively impact the community and the university, because Tech Square had successfully transformed the eastern edge of campus in 2013.

Our team was hired in 2016 to study the programmatic, economic, and physical feasibility of the site, which would determine the future of this critical 18 acres of the campus, city, and neighborhood.

We conducted roughly 100 interviews with project stakeholders, including Georgia Tech leadership, commercial industry, real estate, local government agencies, and the Westside community. The resulting vision imagined the redeveloped site as a mixed-use innovation district. Now named Science Square, it is a new door to the university and unlimited progress.

The feasibility-study recommendations led to a master plan for the site. We then helped Georgia Tech rezone the property to Atlanta’s new I-Mix (industrial mix) zoning category, which enabled the transformation envisioned in the plan.

The Master Plan: Reconnecting to the City

The Science Square Master Plan physically reconnects the site into the city with new streets and infrastructure. With topographic challenges of adjacent streets, abandoned historic rail bridges have been transformed into streets and pedestrian paths. A new pedestrian bridge – the Westside Community Connector Bridge – is in design to connect Georgia Tech and the Westside communities through Science Square.

Within the plan, a series of intimate open spaces highlight these new connections and provide small-scale destinations in the district.

A New District Hub: Science Square Labs

Phase I of the master plan is the cornerstone of the district: Science Square Labs. The building’s 368,000 rentable square feet are designed to accommodate life-science research at every scale of business growth while providing an exceptional tenant experience

The design concept carries out the vision of building a bridges. A physical connection bridges Georgia Tech to the Westside across a major corridor and terraces down to the building through an active set of plazas, connectors, stairs, elevators, and viewing platforms. In the future, these spaces will connect to the Westside Community Connector Bridge.

Inside the building, people are connected to one another, other businesses, and broader views of the city. From the Commons, the Gym, and the SkyDeck to the coffee shop and restaurant on the ground floor, Science Square is designed to inspire creativity and propel the next generation of life science research.

Project Team

Cassie Branum
Bruce McEvoy
Mark Joyner
Jeff Williams
Nicole Sheffield
William Harris
Keith Curtis
Katie Janson
Lesley Braxton
James Levin