AcademicUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison Biochemical Sciences Complex

University of Wisconsin, Madison Biochemical Sciences ComplexUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison Biochemical Sciences ComplexUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison Biochemical Sciences ComplexUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison Biochemical Sciences ComplexUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison Biochemical Sciences Complex

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Since its founding in 1883, the Biochemistry Department has expanded in both size and influence, gradually adding infrastructure to support a continued excellence in research. However, the site had become a collection of structures widely varied in age, quality, and architectural design that could no longer function cohesively. 1956 Building Removed: Removal reopened a pedestrian throughway present in the original campus master plan that had been lost, reconnecting Henry Mall with the Biochemistry courtyard. After considering both the necessity to keep pace with quickly evolving laboratory technology and a desire to honor the department's strong legacy, a plan emerged. The oldest, history-rich structures on the site would be restored and renovated while the outdated 1956 laboratory building was removed, leaving space for a new, state-of-the-art research tower. The 1912 Biochemistry Building, the department's first building, was expanded in 1937 with an addition that completed the structure's original design vision. The 1937 portion is adorned with several floor-to-ceiling murals depicting the benefits of agriculture and science. Created by John Steuart Curry, a famous American regionalist painter, the delicate artworks were carefully preserved during construction and meticulously cleaned.

Reconnecting an urban campus

RECOGNITION
AIA Wisconsin, Honor Award
ASLA Wisconsin, Merit Award

Modern scientific environments depend on interdisciplinary exchange. As entities grow, they need to stay connected so researchers can be continually inspired and challenged through collaboration with their peers. The second phase of building for the University of Wisconsin's Biochemistry Department was designed to unite its educational community, made up of undergraduates, graduate students, and staff from the college of agricultural and life sciences and the medical school.

This project paves the way for the future while preserving the past. The new 250,000-square-foot teaching and research building preserves the character of the campus by utilizing the facades of several historic buildings, while incorporating many principles of sustainable design. The new biochemistry complex includes laboratories for 20 research groups, teaching auditoria, classrooms, biochemistry instructional labs, administrative space, a variety of specialized equipment and support facilities, and offices for the national nuclear magnetic resonance structural database initiative.

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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“They considered tearing down all the older buildings and putting in a really new structure here, but there is a lot of historical interest in the 1912 and 1937 wings - both because they are attractive buildings and some fairly famous things happened in them. So we decided to maintain those and build a research tower. This was a really, really challenging project.”

Michael M. CoxPhDProfessor of Biochemistry

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“I was very much hoping that we'd end up with Flad when we went out to get architecture for this new facility. I had a very good experience with them on the 1998 [building] and I was very happy when we were able to get them again... the whole operation getting these buildings designed and constructed has been really easy.”

Michael M. CoxPhDProfessor of Biochemistry

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