To encourage cooperation between different disciplines, at Cornell University the schools of Computer Science and Information Science are joined together in one unique building: the Bill & Melinda Gates Hall (design by Morphosis Architects).
The cybernetic vocation of the building is revealed by very subtle details like patterns and geometries…a kind of decoration that well harmonizes with rational and theoretical work. To realize that, advanced digital modeling tools were adopted, as to honor the educational and research activity of the center.
The educational aspect permeates the Gates Hall as it isn’t relegated in classroom but it’s spread through the whole building, punctuated by spaces for informal and collaborative studies, settings that encourage social and academic exchanges. From the architects “Encounters and impromptu charettes are facilitated by regular alcove spaces in the corridors, where the floor-to-ceiling glazing lining classrooms and offices becomes a transforming canvas for graphics, blackboard equations, and casual notes”.
Primary circulation is organized around a glazed atrium that reinforces the idea of openness and transparency, a concept supported by full-height glass façades and skylights. This transparency also helps the building being eco-friendly, taking advantage from the natural daylight. Other eco-solutions adopted are the high-performance glasses, the perforated metal shading screens, the recycled and renewable materials and the mechanical system that uses the campus lake-source to integrate the cooling system.