Full of natural light and space, the beautiful new Millikan Laboratory and renovated Andrew Science Hall are now open for faculty and summer research students at Pomona College in Claremont. Spanning approximately 75,000 square feet, the reburbished Millikan facility houses the school's mathematics, physics and astronomy departments under a single roof built to the highest green standards.
Innovative new features within the building include: a digital panetarium with a 360-degree immersive view of the night sky; an 80-100 seat colloquium; a large 50-seat classroom; six math classrooms, including three 30-seat classrooms and an applied math lab; outdoor physics labs; seven physics teaching labs, including a space for the College's electron microscope; machine, wood and metal shops; a two-story atrium; collaborative study spaces and lounges and a garden courtyard. The building's striking interior features light wood, large windows and floating staircases.
The revamped facility is not intended for use only by students and faculty of Pomona College. The digital planetarium -its dome visible from College Avenue and Sixth Street - will provide opportunities for local schools and organizations to visit for special events, performances and astronomy classes.
Built to the stringent LEED requirements set by the U.S. Green Building Council, the new Millikan implements a variety of features which will reduce the College's carbon footprint. This includes decoupled air-handling and heating and cooling systems, featuring advanced chilled metal beam technology. The building's exterior and interior walls have been disconnected, creating a thermal barrier to improve insulation. Other environmentally-friendly features include new LED lighting, native landscaping and a cooling and heating system which automatically adjusts to open windows.
The first Millikan was constructed in 1958 as part of the College's Seaver complex of science buildings. As the decades rolled by, several deficiencies with the original building became apparent to school, including a cracked foundation and an outdated structure which did not allow for sustainability improvements. Although original plans called for a renovation of the previous building, Pomona College determined that new construction would ultimately be a more cost-effective choice in the long term. However, one element from the original Millikan has been preserved: an atom sculpture which is now displayed at the front of the new building.
The project was designed by EHDD Architecture, a San Franciso-based firm known for its work on educational facilities.
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