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Southern Illinois University

Interdisciplinary Research Building

Originally built in 2005 as swing space for a library renovation, McLafferty is being transformed into a hub of scientific discovery, scholarly inquiry, and creative achievement.

Designed to promote serendipitous meetings and interactions, the curvilinear circulation takes advantage of the building’s clear span by positioning the labs in a non-linear fashion.

Although the research is to be determined, the spaces will be adaptable to a variety of options:

  • Wet labs (biology, chemistry)
  • Dry labs (geology, computer)
  • 2 core instrumentation facilities (imaging, biosafety)
  • Aquaculture (zebrafish)
  • High bay

The laboratories will be built in phases, starting with aquaculture. A variety of tanks and a quarantine room are included to accommodate species which may be incompatible (i.e., mammals, sea turtles). A high-bay receiving area is included, as well as an exterior slab for the life support system (DA tower, filtration systems, etc.).

Much of the configurations come from the science the space is serving. For example, work stations in the imaging core are configured around a central collaboration table with LCD monitors for shared viewing, write-up stations, and other amenities. The inspiration for the layout is found in dynamic covalent bonds, as the benches are arranged to maximize views throughout the space and easy circulation.


Carbondale, Illinois


65,500 GSF


Programming, laboratory planning, design, equipment planning


Eggemeyer Associates Architects



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