WER Architects/Planners, in association with HDR, has designed a new multi-purpose laboratory and office complex with a large multi-purpose meeting space for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. This 52,000 square foot facility, is the new flagship facility for the division as well as the northernmost entry onto the University of Arkansas campus and Agricultural center.
The building is organized into two wings – a two-story research laboratory wing and an administrative/office and multi-purpose room wing. A glass link connects the two wings and the main entry circulation path passes under the lab wing extending to the multi-purpose room creating a transitional and ceremonial path through a “Hall of Fame” gallery and past an interior garden space.
The multi-purpose room is a large two-story space, surrounded by glass, which acts as a beacon and a main feature of the new facility. It is located proud of the rest of the facility and easily seen on approach. The site plan has a place for future greenhouses and the landscape design plan features water conservation by using the natural drainage of the site as a rain garden along the north façade and incorporates rainwater harvesting.
The Agricultural Sciences Center opened in the Spring of 2018.