University of Houston – Victoria STEM Building

  • area / size 63,000 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • SmithGroup completed University of Houston’s Victoria STEM Building to enhance the student experience in Victoria, Texas.

    Designed to centralize and elevate its STEM programs, the University of Houston–Victoria STEM Building also enhances the physical campus presence, creating an appealing collegiate atmosphere and strengthening its identity throughout the region.

    With an approximate enrollment of 4,000 students, the University of Houston–Victoria (UHV) is the smallest of the four University of Houston campuses. With a goal of growing its enrollment by 20% over the next decade, the University embarked on a capital improvement campaign focused on the addition of new academic facilities. Central to the campaign, the STEM building—now named University South—would expand both the capabilities and reputation of its science, technology, engineering and math programs.

    This distinctive academic building consolidates existing STEM-related facilities and faculty, previously dispersed around campus, into one cross-disciplinary environment with technology-rich learning spaces and labs. Its scale and striking design create a highly visible landmark along a busy arterial at the south entrance to campus. The two-story main lobby guides visitors into the community wing, designed for outreach efforts with local organizations, high school students and industry partners. It features an immersive visualization theater with a 210-degree screen and an adjacent “super flex” 120-seat room for events. The core of the second and third floors include specialized labs for robotics, motion capture, virtual reality, chemistry, biology and more. Central support for the labs runs along an exterior wall, allowing for clean, efficient operations and providing a quiet research zone with lab stations and benches for faculty.

    UHV already serves an important role in providing affordable, accessible education to students in its region. With the bold visibility of the new building and a more inspiring collegiate campus, new generations of students will be drawn to realize their potential at the University of Houston–Victoria.

    Design: SmithGroup
    Landscape: Asakura Robinson
    Photography: Wade Griffith