Yale Science Building opens the door to a bright future of scientific innovation

New Haven, CT, USA
The Pavilion at the Yale Science Building is the outdoor plaza and centerpiece of the Science Hill campus that provides a picturesque landscape for studying and collaboration.

Yale Science Building is a welcoming home for scientific inquiry that celebrates community and collaboration among the next generation of scientists. In the footprint of the former J.W. Gibbs Laboratory, the state-of-the-art building revitalizes the university’s historic Science Hill by bringing together scattered programs under a single roof.  Rather than expanding the campus footprint, this large-scale revitalization conserves land for future growth and empowers community through continuity and accessibility.

83%
of interior spaces provide outdoor views

The Commons pavilion overlooking Sachem Hill.

By closely analyzing wind-study data, we designed the Commons Pavilion to be a wind deterrent, transforming this once unusable plaza into a protected outdoor space for the Science Hill community to enjoy year-round.

Science Hill's central meeting place

Yale Science Building’s plaza is known as the Commons — a defining centerpiece of Science Hill, and a bustling place to meet up with friends and colleagues. Filled with natural light and connected to surrounding green space, this inspiring setting offers students, faculty, and staff comfortable indoor/outdoor spaces to socialize, dine, and study.

Axonometric view of YSB's concourse level and plaza level floors.

Connecting a diverse and innovative community

To further Yale’s vibrant culture of inquiry and collaboration, we formed multi-layered connections between Science Hill’s numerous buildings and developed a cohesive identity throughout. The project’s unique site gave us the opportunity to create a large underground concourse that houses vibration-sensitive physics and imaging research labs, and links Yale Science Building to the surrounding buildings. This concourse level will extend and connect to the next phase of Science Hill’s expansion, set to begin construction in 2023.

The building's design features glass façades with russet-colored vertical piers and horizontal sunshades that reflect the architectural qualities of other Science Hill buildings. The color shifts throughout the day as the light changes.

Flexible labs and workspaces are easily adaptable as research needs evolve over time.

The 500-seat lecture hall, part of the Peabody Museum, strengthens the connection between Yale and the New Haven community.

“In 100 years, when people look back to this moment, they will see that this building played a vital role in fulfilling our shared vision to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery at Yale to benefit the lives of people around the world.”  — Peter Salovey, President of Yale University

Looking ahead to a healthy and sustainable future

Yale Science Building marks significant steps toward the university’s net-zero goal. The building is the most energy-efficient laboratory on campus, reducing the University’s EUI benchmark by 25 percent. The design adds abundant green space, greatly improves storm water management, and preserves treasured 150-year-old oak trees.

More About the Project

Project Team

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Stantec
  • Structural Engineer: Le Messurier
  • MEP: Stantec
  • Lab Planner: Stantec

Project Information

  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • Client: Yale University
  • Size: 282,500 sq. ft. / 26,244 sq. m.
  • Completion: 2019
  • Certification: LEED Gold Objective
  • Firm Role: Design Architect

Awards

  • 2021, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC/CT) Connecticut Engineering Excellence Awards, Winner
  • 2020, Award of Merit for Higher Education/Research, ENR Best Project Award
  • 2020, Excellence Award, AIA CT Design Awards
  • 2020, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Connecticut Design Awards Excellence, Commercial, Institutional, Educational, and Multi-Family Residential Design
  • 2020, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pittsburgh, Design Pittsburgh Awards, Honor Award, Large
  • 2020, Associated General Contractors of Connecticut Build Connecticut Awards, Construction Management/General Contractor: Large New Construction
  • Principal Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO