Integrating a state-of-the-art school of pharmacology into a 180-year-old campus featuring the signature work of a famed architect was the challenge Port City Architecture met for the University of New England. When it was finished, the building’s form, scale, and handsome brick exterior felt right at home with its John Calvin Stevens-designed neighbors on the school’s Portland campus.
Though the 48,000 square foot structure worked in harmony with the history that surrounded it, PCA also ensured it met the needs of its 150 students and faculty. The teaching labs that occupy the majority of the school were bracketed by a vivarium in the basement and a cutting-edge laboratory on the top floor to create the environment that could position its occupants to lead the next wave of pharmacological research and practice.
Costs were controlled without sacrificing quality through an ingenious design that bookended the building with two generous lobbies while maximizing the classroom space between them. Fiberglass-framed windows were installed for their excellent value and the hard finish that eliminated the need for future painting. They were offset by porcelain panels that mirror the look and durability of granite, for a fraction of its cost. PCA’s eye on long-term operational costs also drove the decision to extend the building’s distinctive sloped roof over a deck built to house HVAC and other equipment to provide continued protection from the elements.