DCP Collaboratory

The University of Florida

The College of Design, Construction, and Planning (DCP) at the University of Florida embarked on a national design competition to create a unifying ‘living laboratory’ for all five disciplines within the College. The project entails renovating the existing School of Architecture building and constructing a new Collaboratory to support the future student and academic programming. The aim is to foster a non-territorial, multi-functional space that encourages collaboration and interdisciplinary learning to mirror industry practices. The new addition, the Collaboratory, embodies contemporary tools and trends in research hubs, digital modeling, fabrication labs, and educational spaces. Notably, the Creative Collision Commons (C3) space stands out as a catalyst for interaction and collaboration among all university disciplines.

Within an exterior zinc rain screen envelope, the C3 space acts as a bridge, linking terracotta volumes and creating a threshold from Stadium Road to the architecture atrium.

The site is located immediately south of the campus historic district and within view to the student and cultural heart of campus, Turlington.
The college has a rare opportunity to create a fertile ground for design collaboration that is a true representation of the industry, coupled with professional partnerships and teaming engagements that mimic real world practice.
In design school, the term design culture is an abstract concept that over the course of a degree program becomes an integral part of the student experience. It is an organic, social construct that stems naturally from working together, sharing ideas, and pushing boundaries in the studio. Studio life would not be complete without these natural regular occurrences.
The proposed design team elevates the role of the engineering disciplines to work in concert with the architects to develop a holistic design solution and that emulates the interdisciplinary approach to design that is a core tenant of the DCP program. The design approach prioritizes ecological aspects, incorporating climate action, social equity, and historical context, taking into account its location on the periphery of the UF historic district along Stadium Road. Sustainability has many touch points throughout includinga low embodied energy strategy, including a mass timber structural system with increased utility as a teaching tool.