James Jeffords Hall
University of Vermont
Home to the departments of plant biology and plant and soil science, this new science hall provides students and faculty an innovative and dynamic learning environment, both indoors and out. The 100,000 square-foot building was designed to promote student-faculty interaction and includes several laboratories, seminar rooms, faculty and student offices, computer labs, general purpose classrooms, multiple informal meeting spaces and a generous public lobby.
Research labs and offices on the upper floors are clustered into “neighborhoods” to encourage the free-flow of ideas between faculty and graduate students. At ground level, teaching labs interface with multiple outdoor gardens, an arboretum, and an attached greenhouse to create a true “living laboratory” for undergraduate education and research. Growth chambers, potting rooms, and mechanical spaces are located in the basement. Up top, the mechanical penthouse gracefully complements the overall building form and proportions.
Situated within a prominent hilltop site, the science center also serves as one of the university’s flagship buildings on campus. The angled wings of the western façade embrace a newly defined pedestrian commons and invite people in, while the eastern façade, which fronts Main Street, serves as the first visual reference to campus for motorists entering the city. A “living wall” of northern kiwi vine on the southern façade reminds visitors of the building’s overall purpose and hints at the many green features found throughout this LEED Gold certified building.