University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Tower wins ASID Award

  • 06.23.23|1 min. read
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Tower open hall with students

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Tower recently received a Silver Award for Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) Planning from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The project is a collaboration with the Wisconsin-based Strang, Inc. Ballinger provided architecture and interior design services, coordinating furniture from an architectural design perspective and providing pathways for the Strang team to make final selections and write the detail specifications.

According to Ballinger Associate Jennifer Cappella, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, the bold colors of the furnishing, paint, and fixtures in the building were originally sparked by the colors of chemical reactions, “We were especially intrigued by flame tests, which reveal the blazing colors of chemical compounds over a Bunsen Burner,” she said. Inspired by the bright chartreuse of Borax and the clear aquamarine of Zinc, the team developed a bold monochromatic color blocking parti including green, blue, and—to unite the concept of flame testing with the University’s brand—a dominant red.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Tower stairwell looking down

“Finding the right red involved dozens of tests for each material, from terrazzo to drapery to glass interlayers,” said Ballinger Senior Principal Craig Spangler, AIA. Balancing daylight and artificial light color temperatures created additional challenges in color matching. After many rounds of trial and error, the team coordinated a variety of reds that together, cohesively communicate the unmistakable Wisconsin Badger red.

Large lecture hall with students at University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Tower

The color blocking also provides helpful wayfinding context. “Red, blue, and green were utilized throughout the building to signify the types of spaces the user might find themselves in, such as green for teaching spaces,” said Jennifer.

Rooted in research and driven by our clients’ strategic business objectives, Ballinger designs flexible interior environments that inspire the people who gather, work, and heal in them. Learn more about our interiors projects.