Architect: Flad Architects
Owner: State of Wisconsin
Contractor: CG Schmidt, Inc.
The dynamic imagery of the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex (IRC) is an assemblage of components, a metaphor for the research and innovation happening within. As the first new science building to be completed on campus in 20 years, the Kenwood IRC occupies a prominent location on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, making a progressive architectural statement that celebrates the importance of participation in the sciences. With a goal of continued advancement of research, education, collaboration, and outreach, this structure anchors a new science quad and sets the stage for a site that is connected, interactive, and interdisciplinary.
Located in a dense urban campus setting, the Kenwood IRC is uniquely sited along a major east-west pedestrian thoroughfare, presenting a significant design opportunity to engage and interact with the campus community. Given the cold climate that persists through much of the academic year, a two-story ground level lobby generously accommodates an interior route while an outdoor loggia along the southern façade provides a covered walking path during warmer months. The lobby has emerged as a place where students stop and study between classes; the building’s public areas are always active and vibrant.
The five-story, state-of-the-art facility is a machine for investigation into numerous scientific disciplines ranging from physics to biology to chemistry. These cross-disciplinary research endeavors are supported by flexible laboratory designs and abundant collaboration space. The facility’s design has achieved LEED-NC Gold certification with a wide range of strategies benefitting the environment, users of the building, and the region as a whole.
Photos: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessings Photography