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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

The Gates and Hillman Centers for Computer Science in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

January 17th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

The Gates and Hillman Centers for Computer Science completes a computer science complex on Carnegie Mellon University’s west campus. The building houses four departments of the School of Computer Science providing offices, conference rooms, open collaborative spaces, closed project rooms and a reading room for more than 120 faculty, 350 graduate students, 100 researchers or postdoctoral fellows and 50 administrative staff members along with a more public component of 10 university classrooms, a 250 seat auditorium, a cafe and 2 university computer clusters.

Images Courtesy © Timothy Hursley and © Nic Lehoux

  • Architect: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
  • Name of Project: The Gates and Hillman Centers for Computer Science
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Owner: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Associate Architect: Gensler
  • Local Architect: EDGE Studio
  • Photo Credit: © Timothy Hursley, © Nic Lehoux

The design of the Gates and Hillman Centers required negotiating a series of complex existing site conditions and programmatic pre-requisites. Site challenges included demolition of existing buildings, a large zone of subsurface rock, existing sewer lines that limited the constructable area, and an existing campus spacial hierarchy that had to be respected.

Programmatic pre-requisites included the need for a single building that could be treated as two separate buildings, the need for a variety of campus connections, both for pedestrians and for service purposes across a terrain that included variations of up to 75 feet in elevation.

Images Courtesy © Timothy Hursley and © Nic Lehoux

Jury Comments

This project is scaled perfectly within an urban campus and within a uniquely difficult site. The building not only matches the culture and aspirations of the school but also provides campus connections that had been clearly missing before. The fenestration and zinc exterior skin surprisingly relate beautifully to the campus fabric without being literal.

Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of the project is a set of views and visual connections created by transparent interior glazing, non-reflective exterior glazing as well as carefully placed and angled floor plates.

Images Courtesy © Timothy Hursley and © Nic Lehoux

Images Courtesy © Timothy Hursley and © Nic Lehoux

Images Courtesy © Timothy Hursley and © Nic Lehoux

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Category: University Building

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