“We appreciated the complexity of having to place the structure at the interface of the campus and neighborhood, and in its immediate context of Gothic and mid-1960s architecture. This building combines a wonderful exuberance, a seriousness and elegance that make it immediately a contributor to the campus. The masonry detailing is extraordinary. The building applies the Gothic precedence in a new way, by taking a long building and giving it a vertical quality.”
The CRB respects and responds to the Academic Gothic character of its immediate environment with appropriate massing and detail. The solution is not a modern, flat plane but rather one that works with the classical qualities of brick, taking advantage of its sculptural properties and the infinite details and possibilities that are available in a material that is placed by hand, one unit at a time. Building elevations and materials selections establish the building as an integral component of Science Hill and Yale University while it remains a fresh, honest expression of its program needs and contemporary construction technology.
Placement of the bar-shaped building parallel to the existing lab creates an internal courtyard, used for social activities and celebrations. Enclosed passageways at basement, first and second floors knit the buildings together. Above-grade links are designed and furnished as informal communal spaces with strong visual connections to the common courtyard. The CRB’s program-driven plan maximizes research space, fume hoods, and utility capacity to support current and future research initiatives. The modular lab layout, and absence of fixed vertical elements within the lab zone, will allow Yale to redefine laboratory configurations without structural impediments.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson was the Design Architect for the Chemistry Research Building and worked with Cannon Design, the Executive Architect for the project.