Burrill Hall: School of Molecular & Cellular Biology

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

The Burrill Hall project included the renovation of an existing library/learning center and library stacks to create a central area for the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The design combined MCB instructional spaces and MCB advising into one area of Burrill Hall instead of two separate buildings.

The existing first floor library/learning center was renovated into a new educational learning center, free-form learning area, exam rooms, a writer’s workshop room and additional support spaces.  

The existing three-floor library stacks were renovated to include classrooms on the lower two floors. The top floor now includes faculty offices and a reception area for MCB student advising. Each floor also offers a conference space.

 

Features
  • Flexible educational spaces
  • Support spaces
  • Life safety issues addressed
  • New M/E/P systems
  • ​Historic renovation
The Challenge

How do we renovate an existing library/learning center and library stacks to create one central area for the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology to increase student engagement and redefine the educational space?

The Solution

By combining instructional and advising spaces into one area of Burrill Hall instead of two separate buildings. creating a sense of pride and connection. 

"When approaching classroom design, we wanted to have a physical space that would facilitate group work. We find that when an instructor is given a space that's conducive to that kind of work they're much more likely to try it out."

Branded environments connect with students

Increase student engagement and redefine the educational space

Create a sense of pride, connecting student to place with experiences