University of Houston-Downtown – Sciences and Technology Building

  • area / size 114,500 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Kirksey Architecture designed the Sciences and Technology Building for University of Houston-Downtown in Houston, Texas.

    The University of Houston-Downtown Sciences and Technology Building inspires science by providing moments of discovery in different scales. With high visibility located along Interstate 10 and across from one of Houston’s most familiar bayous, the urban downtown campus becomes a “city window” and integrates itself into the surrounding natural landscape. Housing different sciences, the building features opportunities for cross-pollination in both chemistry and biology studies, as well moments of discovery throughout corridors and the atrium. Walking trails and a porch area with views of the bayou provide a connection to nature.

    The building, adjacent to Houston’s Buffalo Bayou, was designed in a flood plain that will only continue to flood. Knowing that the building would eventually be covered in 5-ft. of water, sustainable methods were utilized. Primarily all of the materials that were reviewed for use were composed of recycled content and all of the materials that were picked had sustainable characteristics. All of the plants on site were designed to be resilient to continual flooding. The building was also designed to make scientific principles visible and simultaneously showcase its sustainability — one way of doing this was to reveal building systems in action: exposed utilities, as well as revealing the concrete structure itself.

    The UHD Sciences and Technology Building not only fosters teaching in laboratories, but serves as a destination of discovery unto itself and promote more STEM initiatives for Houston.

    Architect: Kirksey Architecture
    Photography: Joe Aker, Jonathan Dean