Furman University’s state-of-the-art Charles H. Townes Science Center provides access to an array of research labs, computer labs, science libraries and multimedia classrooms. Ballinger designed the renovation and expansion to accommodate Furman’s growing science departments.
The 600-foot-long existing building was narrow, had low ceiling heights and was devoid of science character and social spaces. Valued as an integral component of the architectural heritage of the campus, Furman challenged Ballinger with integrating the existing building into a science master plan that would reflect Furman’s nationally-ranked science program and promote the institution’s commitment to engaged learning.
The transformation of the existing facility focused on developing an integrated teaching and research model by creating a vibrant new home for the sciences at Furman. A new interior commons features large expanses of glass that provide views between the exterior quadrangles and the science activities within the building. The commons also provides a much needed programmatic connection between the new and renovated wings.
The redesigned facility clusters classrooms, teaching labs, research labs and faculty offices around discipline-specific research neighborhoods. The expansion includes a new 150-seat lecture hall, planetarium and science library. The complex is enhanced by numerous integrated environmental initiatives that further the pedagogical goals of the science faculty and reinforce Furman’s commitment to sustainable design. Through the re-use of the existing facility, progressive technologies and numerous integrated environmental initiatives such as solar aquatics, the project was awarded LEED Gold certification.