Sterling and Kline Chemistry Labs Renovation and Addition

Unbuilt Design Award Submission

The Sterling Chemistry Laboratory at Yale University, when built in 1923, was considered a cutting-edge design, incorporating a flexible, factory-like interior core with a state-of-the art natural ventilation system enclosed within a ring of gothic-revival building elements.

Deeply in need of updating, renovation, and reprogramming, the SCL building, centrally located on Yale's Science Hill, was to be transformed into a new Undergraduate Science Teaching Center. The ambitious program included auditoriums, classrooms, all sciences undergraduate science teaching labs, computer labs, a dining facility and student commons, a fitness center, teaching offices, research labs with associated support facilities and offices for the University’s science departments.

Major challenges of this project included managing the effects of a substantial increase in program area and the introduction of day-lighting throughout building's deep floor plan. The proposed scheme uses a continuous, vaulted roof profile to minimize the addition's visual impact. Skylights within the barrel vault reiterate the building's plan organization and bring natural light to public spaces and laboratories. The gothic-revival exterior would be restored and extended. With a deep commitment to environmental sustainability, Yale established goals of carbon neutrality and LEED Gold certification for this building.

HBRA Architects Incorporatetd
Associate Architect
The Freelon Group
  • Atelier Ten
  • Jaffe Holden
  • Olin Partnership
  • Robert Silman Associates, P.C.
  • SEi Companies
  • Vermeulens Cost Consultants
General contractor
Turner Construction Companry
New Haven, CT