University of Connecticut – Innovation Partnership Building

UCONN
UCONN
UCONN

The Innovation Partnership Building is the first structure to be built at the University of Connecticut’s new Technology Park campus – setting the architectural tone for future buildings and sparking the institution’s collaborative research with local industries.

Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Completion Year 2018
  • Design Finish Year 2014
  • Size Site Area: 12 acres Building Height: 84 feet Number of Stories: 4 Building Gross Area: 115,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2018, Award of Excellence, AIA – Connecticut Chapter 2019, Award of Merit, Society of American Registered Architects - NY 2020, Finalist: Excellence in Innovation, Lab Manager Magazine 2019, New England Best Projects: Award of Merit in Higher Education/Research, Engineering News-Record 2019, National Design Award of Honor, Society of American Registered Architects
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C CS (Core & Shell) Silver, BD+C, Silver
  • Collaborators
    Rickes Associates, Inc. Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. Faithful+Gould Vitatech Electromagnetics, LLC Shen Milsom & Wilke Abbie Gregg, Inc. Susan Brady Lighting Design Lebowitz Gould Design Van Deusen & Associates MBH Architecture
Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Completion Year 2018
  • Design Finish Year 2014
  • Size Site Area: 12 acres Building Height: 84 feet Number of Stories: 4 Building Gross Area: 115,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2018, Award of Excellence, AIA – Connecticut Chapter 2019, Award of Merit, Society of American Registered Architects - NY 2020, Finalist: Excellence in Innovation, Lab Manager Magazine 2019, New England Best Projects: Award of Merit in Higher Education/Research, Engineering News-Record 2019, National Design Award of Honor, Society of American Registered Architects
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C CS (Core & Shell) Silver, BD+C, Silver
  • Collaborators
    Rickes Associates, Inc. Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. Faithful+Gould Vitatech Electromagnetics, LLC Shen Milsom & Wilke Abbie Gregg, Inc. Susan Brady Lighting Design Lebowitz Gould Design Van Deusen & Associates MBH Architecture

Uniting academia and industry

In 2014, the University of Connecticut sought to create a new campus that would serve as a platform to educate and inspire future generations of scientists and engineers, while bolstering the state’s economy. The institution tapped SOM to design the master plan for this campus, and out of this plan came the first building for the new Tech Park: The Innovation Partnership Building (IPB).

UCONN
© Magda Biernat

With 8,000 companies performing research within a two-hour drive of the university, UConn received $40 million from the state to fund cutting-edge laboratories and technology. And with these laboratories, the IPB has provided Connecticut-based industries with access to resources offered almost nowhere else in the state. The building is a bridge between academia and industry, attracting startups and blue-chip companies alike. Both graduates and undergraduates can engage in projects related to energy, material science, cyber security, manufacturing, data science, and artificial intelligence and robotics. As the first building in the Tech Park, the IPB is serving as an engine for creating tech jobs and strengthening the economy of Connecticut.

To enter the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) at UConn Tech Park is to begin a journey that is fascinating and awe-inspiring.

Read More

A “machine in the garden”

Set amid rolling farmlands, woodlands, and wetlands, the IPB merges state-of-the-art laboratories with a bucolic setting. It is conceived as a “machine in the garden,” standing in striking contrast to its setting with strong concrete and metal-clad forms stretching into the landscape. The technical requirements for the different types of laboratories—from the highly sensitive microscopy center to the more active and vibration-intensive high-bay and manufacturing center—informed the building’s U-shaped plan. Within this scheme, a sloping courtyard space becomes the heart of the IPB. The space frames views of the woodlands and distant hills, and creates a continuum from the entry plaza through to the perimeter forest walking trails beyond the site.

UCONN
© Magda Biernat

Sustainability, and a new aesthetic for UConn

Clad in a perforated aluminum rainscreen system, patterned pre-cast concrete panels, and glass, the IPB stands in contrast to its red brick neighbors on UConn’s main campus. Coupled with its expression of structure, this differentiation signals that the new Tech Park and its flagship Innovation Partnership Building are forward-looking experiments for UConn and the state.

Sustainability is at the heart of every aspect of the design. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification through a variety of strategies, from the construction of a reclaimed water system to energy-reducing systems such as a condensing boiler plant, an exhaust air energy recovery system, and natural lighting.

UCONN
© Lucas Blair Simpson | SOM

Cutting-edge lab spaces

There are three primary zones within the IPB: tenant wet and dry labs, a high-bay manufacturing and additive materials wing, and an advanced characterization wing. The advanced characterization lab is among the foremost microscopy facilities in the United States, offering researchers the ability to analyze materials at atomic scales. All of these facilities are supported by a network of indoor and outdoor social spaces that SOM designed to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration.


An amenity for the entire campus

Complementing the facility’s research and education program is a network of formal and informal spaces that promote interaction between students, faculty, and industry partners. The multipurpose lobby, which incorporates the artwork “Wall Drawing #867” by Connecticut native Sol LeWitt, has served as university-wide venue for symposia and other events. Lounges, meeting rooms, and a cafe have likewise all become gathering places for students across the university.

UCONN
© Magda Biernat