Flad Architects

Construction to Begin on SJSU Interdisciplinary Science Building

With onlookers numbering in the hundreds, San Jose State University held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB). Funded by California State University systemwide revenue bonds, the ISB will be SJSU's first new academic building in more than 30 years and its first new science facility in nearly 50 years.

The first phase of a new science precinct, the eight-story, 157,400-square-foot ISB will house teaching and research labs for chemistry and biology, an interdisciplinary Center for High Performance Computing, and a data and science information lab serving the College of Professional and Global Education. "Collaboratories" will adjoin research labs, giving students dedicated space to present and discuss results away from instrument setups and chemicals. Each floor in the building will include additional collaborative hubs – so-called "sticky spaces," less-structured learning spaces designed to encourage students to linger in the academic environment and benefit from informal interactions with other students, as well as staff and researchers.

Located on a constrained site, the ISB features a highly compact building footprint that achieves high efficiency in plan and preserves adjacent site area for future buildings. Building massing is necessarily simple, and the building configuration articulates two distinct forms: The lower, wider western block houses research and core functions, while the relatively slender eastern block houses class laboratories.

Scheduled to open in early 2022, the Interdisciplinary Science Building represents a definitive move away from the more static environments of SJSU's current lineup of science facilities – the Science Building (opened 1957), MacQuarrie Hall (1965) and Duncan Hall (1972). In his remarks at the groundbreaking, Michael Kaufman, dean of the College of Science, referred to these as "163 years of experience," something the university and its 33,000 students are happy to trade for one dynamic and innovative research building.

San Jose State University > Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB)

June 18, 2019