School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering Indiana University Bloomington

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Bloomington, Indiana, USA
124,000 square feet / 12,000 square meters

The School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering is an architecturally expressive statement for Indiana University Bloomington, housing computer science, information and library science, and intelligent systems engineering. The building signifies a major first step in IU’s ambitious master plan to establish a new, vibrant mixed-use precinct.

The four-story building features a locally sourced limestone façade highlighted with glass and metal, recalling the collegiate gothic architecture of the main campus, as well as the symmetry and geometric composition of early renaissance styles with a more modern characterization. The façade’s purposeful, angled structure appears to be completely limestone from one viewpoint and punctuated by glass cutouts from another. Not only does this present an elegant and defining identity for the building, it aids in heating/cooling sustainability efforts by being intentionally positioned away from direct sunlight. The main entrance features four strong limestone columns supporting a painted metal screen canopy, which projects a texture shadow onto the all-glass frontage framed by metal mullions.

As seen from outside, a multilevel atrium is a nucleus of activity, encouraging collaboration in flexible environments that branch out from the central location. Dissecting the atrium is an extra-wide staircase designed or both foot traffic and seating that are clearly defined by warm-toned ash seating. An elongated skylight follows the length of the ceiling above the staircase, saturating the atrium and adjoining rooms with natural light. The radiance from the skylight and the white- and cream-colored interiors combine for a sophisticated, clean architectural expression.

Branching from the staircase and atrium are open corridors leading to flexible work spaces and classrooms to facilitate group learning, as well as a lecture hall, auditorium, innovation lab, fabrication lab, and a community center. Each space is equipped with state-of-the-art media capabilities, robotic technology, and prototype development. More open, translucent conference and work rooms extend over the grand staircase. These stacked, enclosed areas are lined with fritted glass for privacy and permeation of light while also showcasing social interaction within the atrium.

The success of our design for the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering resulted in an inviting, versatile building for students, faculty, and staff to collaborate and discover in an exciting, transparent, and light-filled environment.