Location: Houghton, Michigan
The new 55,000‐sf facility houses aquatic research laboratories and classrooms, and supports
researchers and students involved with Great Lakes (scientific, chemical, and physical)
studies. The building, positioned on a compact site on the lower elevations of campus,
adjoins the waters of the Keweenaw Waterway and includes dockage for University vessels.
The building transforms the waterfront from a service/utility area to a prominent role on
the campus. Functional efficiency is maximized through a lab planning module and the
integration of a lab utility spine. The lab planning module provides flexibility for future
modification and ensures the optimal functionality of research labs is maintained.
Vertically aligning the labs/utility spine and the resource core with the mechanical room
and mechanical penthouse provides an effective, flexible, and cost‐efficient way to distribute
utilities for lab spaces. The research vessel deployment and maintenance building provides
proper facilities to support field research activities on Lake Superior and other bodies of
water. Electronic data displays of ongoing research and building diagnostic data visually
connect students, researchers, and visitors to the research being conducted in the facility.
A large meeting room and pre‐function hall will be used as a multifunctional space to
conduct academic lectures, seminars, and demonstrations, and host research symposia.
The architecture reflects the mission of the University’s research programs, respects the
campus setting, and provides a distinct, personal image for the research center, while
artfully engaging the water.
Area: 55,000 sf
Completion Date: April 2012
Construction Cost: $20.7 million