Functional needs for modernized labs in the Liebman Science Center at McHenry County College were a primary programmatic focus of the project. However, multiple areas for learning to occur outside of the labs and classrooms were also incorporated in the 40,000-square-foot project.
Outdoor learning environments were created through the massing of the building and associated landscaped areas. These outdoor areas include an outcropping of limestone that provides a gathering space for students, stargazing area, entry plaza and pathways through landscaping. Additionally, a planetarium, defined by a backlit celestial graphic and framed by a zinc enclosure, is cantilevered from the building’s façade.
Situated at the top of a ridge, along a stand of pine trees, the building integrates into its natural surroundings through the incorporation of organic building materials including zinc panels, wood panels and stone/masonry. To complete the project, Bennett and Brosseau Roofing Inc. installed Jarden Zinc Products LLC’s 1-inch double-lock standing seam zinc wall panel system with a Glacier Gray finish.