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As the corner stone building of the new Innovation Campus at Wichita State University, The Experiential Engineering Building lays the ground work for greatly expanding technology based economic growth and diversification for the metropolitan area and the region. Focusing on flexibility and collaboration, the facility was designed to be a hub for translational research that brings together students, faculty and partners from the private sector.
A new vernacular has been developed – one that speaks to innovation, technology and change, while simultaneously being grounded in the familiar materials of the main campus. The forms are simple, the juxtaposition of surfaces creates interesting contrast, and the clarity of the composition is bold. A two-story lobby is skinned on the north and south with a glass curtain wall that ties the 17th street face to a new quad which organizes the Innovation Campus. Two flanking wings house high bay lab spaces for a wide variety of engineering disciplines. A horizontal bar caps the building providing deep shade at the entry as well as great views from the lab areas inside. The building is designed to evolve with academic programs, private tenants and new technology to ensure the long-term success of this initiative.