Yale University recently reopened Kline Tower, the tallest building on the university’s campus and previous home to its biology labs. The renovated tower, part of Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences division, now features open-concept programming space that promotes collaboration and connection across key departments and disciplines.
Global integrated design and engineering firm Stantec provided design services and extensive infrastructure upgrades for the tower renovation project, which is part of a broader strategic investment in Yale’s dynamic Science Hill area. The reimagination of Science Hill is grounded in Yale’s long-term strategy to continue to accelerate science and engineering on campus and offer more multidisciplinary collaboration and learning opportunities for students and faculty.
The 16-story, 186,000-square-foot Kline Tower is targeting LEED® Gold certification and now serves as a modern innovation hub for faculty, administrators, and students in the Departments of Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, and Statistics and Data Science. The building is also home to the Institute for Foundations of Data Science and a signature event space for the Yale community.
Stantec transformed the existing mechanical rooftop penthouse into a beautiful faculty lounge and seminar floor that offers 360° views of New Haven and Long Island Sound. A beacon on Yale’s campus, the building’s crown is adorned with a color-tunable LED lighting system that can be adjusted for special occasions, meetings, and lectures.
“We are honored to support the preservation of an iconic building on the esteemed Yale campus,” said Shawn Maley, principal for Stantec. “The design reinforces Yale’s goal to enhance cross-departmental collaboration though interconnecting stairs and collaborative amenity spaces, by eliminating boundaries and reinforcing a sense of community.”
Advancing design preserves history and creates connection
Originally completed in 1966 and designed by architect Philip Johnson, the tower is located at the center of Science Hill at Yale. Each department has a three-floor interconnecting stairway that provides access to special shared amenities. Space benchmarking with peer institutions was conducted to right size the workspaces and amenities with an emphasis on supporting flexibility and collaboration between faculty and students.
At a time when human connection is highly desired and prioritized by students and faculty, the modern design kept in-person interactions as an integral theme of the project. This includes evolved key lecture spaces, faculty offices, collaboration spaces, lounges, and flexible classrooms. The top-floor addition was designed as a boutique faculty lounge and conference suite that is easily converted from relaxed gatherings to special events or lectures. The new ADA glass connector vestibule on the first-floor links Sloane Physics Laboratory and Kline Tower together, which forms an essential topographic windbreak because of high winds at the location. On the concourse level, the new entry from Sachem’s Wood ties the southern campus to Kline Tower through a three-story connecting stair and lobby.
Using energy metering to meet green energy goals
Yale is deploying new technologies in the building that will use occupancy data and sensors to track and minimize energy usage. This initiative is part of the university’s commitment to achieve zero actual carbon emissions by 2050 with an interim goal to reach net zero emissions by 2035. In alignment with Yale’s requirements, Stantec focused on sustainable features for this project that include a redesigned exterior thermal wall, which adds energy efficiency through a modern insulated barrier; new occupant-sensing temperature, lighting, and plug-load controls to reduce energy usage when rooms are not in use; and 47 advanced utility meters that monitor energy use in real time.
Stantec provided a fully integrated team, including architecture, interior design, engineering, landscape architecture, lighting, acoustics, information technology, audio and video, security, and sustainability services. Stantec also completed a planning and energy performance study for the project. All these efforts were in developed in partnership with Yale’s Office of Facilities and programmatic stakeholders.
Stantec is ranked as a top 10 design firm by Engineering News-Record and Architectural Record and has ranked as the #1 A/E firm by Building Design + Construction for 11 consecutive years. Learn more about how Stantec designs for the future generation of learners.
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