biology laboratory design by Hennebery Eddy Architects

Oregon State University Cordley Hall Rehabilitation

In Design

At 220,000 square feet, Cordley Hall is one of the largest buildings on the Oregon State University campus and is the long-time home to the Departments of Integrative Biology and Botany & Plant Pathology. A contributing resource in OSU’s Historic District, the building was constructed in two phases starting in 1956 and is now in critical need of a comprehensive renovation to address physical and programmatic deficiencies. Cordley remains largely unchanged from its original design: a concrete and brick structure with drab interiors, with most of the spaces, materials, and finishes existing as they were first constructed 60 years ago.

Our historic rehabilitation and biology laboratory design aims to evolve the spaces into world-class learning and research environments while making comprehensive upgrades to the building’s efficiency, accessibility, safety, infrastructure, and performance. The process began with an extensive information-gathering phase that included interviews with dozens of building users. Exterior improvements include brick repair, full window replacement, and the addition of a grand porch and canopy at the main entrance, which will restore Cordley’s envelope and re-establish its connection to the rest of campus.

Inside, students, staff, and faculty will find modern teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, offices, and support facilities. Archival-grade spaces housing OSU’s renowned arthropod and herbarium collections will be publicly displayed, sharing the excitement and wonder of science with visitors. Open, flexible learning and collaboration spaces — sorely missing from the original design — will be integrated on every floor in the form of meeting rooms, study nooks, and lounges. And at the heart of the building, the transformation of an existing but underused courtyard into a science-focused “Bioasis” will offer new, dynamic opportunities for interaction, exhibits and events, and the university’s extension and outreach services.