Diamond + Schmitt Architects design and complete the Computer Science and Engineering building
The Computer Science and Engineering building accommodates faculty offices, research labs, and teaching spaces on the North Campus of the University of Michigan. The building is set into a slope that serves to link the upper level at the north of the site with the lower level some 30 feet below. Two classrooms, a computer lab, and a range of building services are set into the slope, sheltered by the earth, which acts as a thermal governor, reducing the demand on mechanical systems to moderate temperature. In addition, setting portions of the building into the slope reduces the mass of the building on the site. A series of terraced courtyards soften the slope, providing landscaped gardens. A brise-soliel ‘grid’ on the exterior walls, along with an associated glass shade, substantially reduce the solar energy striking the building, reducing the demand for cooling.
The 102,000 square foot structure meets the needs of approximately 900 undergraduates, 300 graduate students, and 51 faculty members. It includes computing labs, classrooms (60 seat and 120 seat), conference rooms, and student project space. State-of-the-art wired and wireless telecommunications and technology capabilities, all with inherent future flexibility, are provided in labs for Advanced Computer Architecture, Software Systems and Real Time Theory as well as Artificial Intelligence.
An ‘open projects’ space has been created in the building to allow for robotics, mobile computing and security experimentation.
High indoor environmental quality is a key feature of the building. Each office is placed on the perimeter of the building, is naturally lit, and has an operable window. Daylight is into the building by using transom windows in corridors, and through the extensive placement of skylights that cover a four-storey atrium space and a long linear stair. The addition of the skylights allows spaces on the interior of the building to benefit from natural light.