Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

The Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science houses an integrated education and research facility for one of the nation's leading programs in computer science. Encompassing more than 225,000 square feet of space, the $50 million Siebel Center serves as a laboratory for exploring and evaluating 21st-century computing environments. All classrooms are fully automated and equipped with digital audio/video capture, intelligent whiteboards, wireless networking and HDTV displays.

In response to the university's master plan the building forms and landscape treatments are traditional. The building's street faces parallel the grid of tree-lined streets with a green setback "yard" space, reinforcing the continuity of the campus environment. Walls fronting on the street are predominantly brick masonry with punched window fenestration. Horizontal elements, such as watercourses and overhanging eaves, emphasize stability and evoke familiar building elements.

Reflecting the fast-paced culture of computer science, the design transforms the building's inner courtyard facades. Transparent glass curtain walls and a dynamic geometry express an exciting and forward-thinking architecture. The contrast between the outer and inner aspects of the L-shaped plan recalls the geode: an opaque, earth-textured exterior with a crystalline, refractive interior.

Natural light and efficient circulation enliven the important public spaces facing the courtyard. Expansive views across the courtyard provide relief to researchers at their computer screens, while visual connections and reflections from across the court contribute complexity to the visual experience.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson was the Design Architect for the Siebel Center and LZT Associates/Larson & Darby Group served as the Executive Architect.


2008 Honor Award
AIA Pittsburgh
2004 Award for Outstanding Engineering Achievement
Illinois Engineering Council
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