Lux et veritas (light and truth) embodied by the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Bloomington, IN, USA

Collaboration drives innovation at Indiana University’s School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering — a dynamic learning environment and technologically advanced building that cultivates interdisciplinary thinking. With interior elements inspired by the collaborative culture in the Silicon Valley, this new building powers community and connection while preparing students for a successful transition into the workplace.

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research labs
The grand staircase intersects the atrium and allows students to use the space for spontaneous collaboration.
“We’re celebrating a building that will foster the generation of new ideas among faculty and students, further enhancing the spirit of innovation at a university already ranked among the world’s most innovative.” — Michael McRobbie, President, Indiana University

The building signifies a major first step in Indiana University’s ambitious master plan to establish a new, vibrant mixed-use precinct.

Translucent conference and work rooms extend over the grand staircase.

Cultivating learning and community building

A multilevel atrium is the setting for a nucleus of activity that dissects the flexible learning environments branching out from the building’s central spine. Cutting vertically through the atrium is an extra-wide staircase designed for both foot traffic and gathering, with clearly defined warm-toned ash seating areas. Stacked, enclosed work spaces are lined with fritted glass for privacy and permeation of light while also providing a window into the daily life inside the atrium.

The art sculpture “Amatria” by artist Philip Beesely dangles delicately in the sunlit glass atrium on the fourth floor. Designed to interact directly with its environment, this high-tech sculpture symbolizes the intersection of art and artificial intelligence.

Creating cohesion for an evolving program

The School of Informatics includes a wide range of disciplines from Information and Library Science, Computer Science, and Robotics, to Security Research. Placing disparate programs in adjacency to one and other fosters connections and new ways of working. The new building unifies these disciplines through a range of bespoke and flexible programs that address specific needs while anticipating new programs that do not yet exist.

The main entrance features four strong limestone columns supporting a canopy composed of metal work, which projects a texture shadow onto the all-glass frontage framed by metal mullions.

A modern reflection of the university’s Gothic style 

The four-story building features a locally sourced limestone façade, recalling the architectural vocabulary of the main campus, as well as the symmetry and geometric composition of early Renaissance styles with a more modern characterization. Positioned away from direct sunlight, the exterior identity also aids the building’s heating and cooling requirements, minimizing the building’s mechanical footprint.

More About the Project

Project Team

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: RATIO Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Fink Roberts & Petrie, Inc.
  • Mechanical Engineering: Ross & Baruzzini, Inc.
  • Electrical Engineering: Enverity Engineering

Project Information

  • Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  • Client: Indiana University
  • Size: 124,000 sq. ft. / 11,520 sq. m.
  • Completion: January 2018
  • Certification: LEED Gold
  • Firm Role: Design Architect
  • Principal Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO