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A new Center of Innovation at a leading institution brings together a disparate set of programs under one roof

Universidad de Lima Engineering Innovation Center

Client
Universidad de Lima
Location
Lima, Peru
Size
92,000 SF
Photographer
Eleazar Cuadros; Renzo Rebagliati
Services
Architecture
Additional Services
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Status
Completed January 2023

Sasaki was tasked with creating a vibrant center for innovation that fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and cross-disciplinary thinking among the students, local industry, and fellow regional institutions. To achieve this, the team designed a social armature of open terraces, multi-level atriums, and collaboration zones that serve as the program’s focal point, encouraging visitors to circulate the building in different ways.

Located in the heart of campus across from the new Student Life, Recreation, & Wellness Center, the Engineering Innovation Center at the Universidad de Lima introduces a new network of engineering hubs that are closely aligned with the emerging industries of Peru. Woven across the 5-story complex is a series of collaboration spaces, classrooms, and an entrepreneurship center that features pitch spaces, both graduate and undergraduate workshops, a multi-use auditorium, and flexible working areas for companies in residence.

A diverse program for an emerging student body

The Engineering Innovation Center is the physical manifestation of the new enterprise-university collaboration model and the university’s shift from traditional engineering instruction to applied research in emerging technologies. Bringing disparate departments together for the first time under one roof, the new building is designed to showcase student projects, enterprise-sponsored research, digital simulation and prototyping, and project-based learning across a range of contemporary engineering disciplines.

Situated on the boundary of the newly reimagined plaza featuring large-scale planters and dining terraces, the Engineering Innovation Center welcomes students and professionals into a large central atrium enclosing a network of staircases, collaborative spaces, and academic hubs. On the ground floor, students will find the university’s new center for robotics and prototyping, offering a series of state of the art multi-media labs that open into the public spaces adjacent to them, including large amphitheater-style seating. In the lower level of the building, visitors can locate the university’s new center for sustainable development and main fabrication studio. 

The second floor is home to the artificial intelligence and computing science labs, while the third floor houses the textile innovation center. From here, students can step outside and relax on the shaded patio, offering more amphitheater-style seating and framed views toward the ground level plaza and Student Life and Recreation Center. 

Lastly, the fourth floor features the food innovation laboratories, including its own cafe, with direct access to the communal rooftop space where students, faculty, visitors, and researchers can collaborate under an extensive solar panel array.

Panoramic views of the campus, the surrounding mountains, and the city of Lima are enjoyed from the building’s rooftop, which also features a large accessible terrace with group seating and gathering areas sheltered by a continuous, photovoltaic pergola.  Large planters with native vegetation surround the pergola and connect the building and landscape. Mechanical rooftop spaces are a visible part of the rooftop experience, which functions as the drone launching pad for the university’s engineering program.

A mixed-mode approach to the conditioning of spaces

The building’s transient areas are naturally ventilated, while the working areas of the building are mechanically conditioned. The faculty offices and technical support areas are incorporated into the lab suites to maximize the interaction between students, faculty, and researchers. 

Modeled after the sun’s path around the building, the innovation center’s undulating floor lines create pockets of shade– all enclosed by a largely glazed double-facade that is protected by a continuous aluminum rod screen. The highly transparent facade allows for maximum visibility into the space of each innovation center, facilitating connectivity between the labs, classrooms, and visitors.

A new framework for the Universidad de Lima

One of four main structures born out of Sasaki’s master plan for the University of Lima, the Engineering Innovation Center guides the institution’s growth and development over the next 20 years. The plan established a programmatic and a physical framework for the university, providing an implementation plan and design guidelines for the optimization of existing structures and the development of new buildings, infrastructure, and landscapes for campus renewal and expansion.

The Center of Innovation exists alongside a new Academic Library, General Studies and University Admissions Center expansion, and the new Recreation, Wellness, and Student Life Center, which constitute the first stage of the university’s transformation. These buildings and their surrounding landscape shift the center of the campus, paving the way for the university’s continuing growth and expansion goals over time.

For more information contact Pablo Savid-Buteler or Antonio Furukawa.

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