Building the Future
The Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex
The Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects of Connecticut (designers of the Campus Master Plan), is nearing completion with a projected completion date of March 2013! The building complex will consist of two LEED certified buildings connected by an atrium. Dell Computer Science Hall, the north building will be connected via a stunning atrium that incorporates collaborative bridges with informal meeting areas on four upper floors to the south building. The complex, contracted for construction to Austin Commercial, will replace the former Taylor Hall and a former cooling tower; will be a short distance from the new student activities center; will stretch north to south along Speedway Mall, a central pedestrian axis of campus; and will rise seven stories along side the live oak trees lining the Mall. This location in the center of campus will serve as the heart of computing advancement in Texas.
The complex will house the entire computer science department for the first time in its history, enabling discussion and collaboration never before possible when the department was spread across campus in six buildings. The new facility will support first-rate research and productive educational space with plenty of room for collaborative projects with other disciplines as well as room for growth.
To facilitate advancement in computer science and its emerging interdisciplinary areas, the approximately 140,000 net assignable square foot complex will accommodate a 40% increase in faculty and a 50% increase in computer science students, meeting a pressing demand for computing innovation and talent. It will house 60 faculty offices, 40 offices for visitors and technical staff including space for visiting scholars and postdoctorates, 300 graduate student spaces, almost 17,500 assignable square feet of flexible and highly programmable research laboratory space, a 200-seat lecture hall, seven classrooms, ten electronic seminar rooms and instructional laboratories, two dedicated study areas for undergraduates and graduate students, over 24 discussion areas, eight conference rooms, visitor and staff offices, student organization offices, as well as other spaces to encourage interaction and collaboration.
The complex will be a state of the art facility for computing research, collaboration, teaching and outreach. The mingling of research labs and offices with modern, computing-oriented classrooms and labs will ensure that students share in the excitement and entrepreneurial challenges of cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary computing research. It will enable a leap forward in research and teaching interactions that will take one of the largest, finest and most diverse computer science departments in the United States to the very highest levels. It will be the focus and enabler of new opportunities for interdisciplinary research, invention and education in this world-changing discipline.
Research clusters, spaces designed to encourage discussion and collaboration, will enhance the student academic experience. Each cluster will have a central lab surrounded by a mix of faculty, graduate student, visitor and administrative offices, open discussion areas, technical support facilities and conference rooms. This will provide coherent space to enable idea sharing, innovation and collaboration in areas such as systems, networking, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine learning, formal methods, data mining, and cloud computing.
Interdisciplinary activities, now more easily organized by closer proximity and resources, will grow and enrich the student and faculty experience, as well as heighten the application of computing advances to other areas that can benefit. Interdisciplinary centers for research and teaching, involving faculty from a variety of disciplines, are planned.
The glass walled atrium will connect the two buildings on six of the seven floors via collaborative bridges and suspended staircases, facilitating serendipitous meetings between researchers. The atrium will be both a welcoming main entrance from Speedway into the Complex and a hub of intellectual interchange. Each bridge also provides a quiet discussion area and an outdoor patio where new ideas will take shape.
The ground floor of the atrium will contain a coffee bar and ample casual seating on the ground floor. O's Cafe, in the ACES building, is only steps away. The courtyard formed behind the atrium by the north and south buildings will be landscaped and provide additional outdoor seating.
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To learn more and/or to request a copy of the UTCS capital campaign materials, please contact UTCS Chair, Dr. Bruce Porter at 512.471.9590 or chair [at] cs [dot] utexas [dot] edu.