To create a precedent setting environment for the study of the mind, brain, and behavior disciplines, this complex renovation restores and transforms two prominent buildings on Brown’s Lincoln Field.
In place of earlier studies for a new building, this renovation unites the departments of Psychology and Cognitive Science and Linguistics in a single complex combining the 1921 Metcalf Chemistry Lab, the 1937 Metcalf Research Building, and the 1950’s link between them. The design goal was to create an interactive, open, and collaborative research environment overcoming the limitations of the layout and dimensions of the two buildings originally planned for very different purposes.
The L-shaped complex is reorganized to create a faculty office wing and a research lab wing linked by a pivotal gathering and circulation core of open lounges and conference rooms surrounding the central stair and elevator. In the original lecture hall, restored daylight at previously closed windows dramatically transforms a neglected space. The Dome Room, named for its beautiful ceiling laylight, becomes a faculty colloquium and reception room. The space of a former exit stair is captured for an intimate library.
The building’s presence on Lincoln Field is enhanced by the restoration of a previously closed main entrance, and the creation of a fully transparent common lounge on the ground floor of the link area. The two wings of the building frame a sunny courtyard, formerly filled with equipment, now filled with a bosc of birch trees and granite benches.
Restoration of the envelope of the building, including new operable insulated windows, and insulation at exterior walls and roof, achieves a LEED Gold rating and performs 20% better than basic energy code requirements.