The Natural Sciences Building consolidates all the laboratories for the campus, including Basic and Advanced Biology, Basic and Organic Chemistry, specialized instrumentation, Anatomy, Physics, Geology, and Astronomy. Also included are spaces for chemistry storage and receiving, Chemistry, and Biology Preparation.
The simple form of the building is a foil for the rich landscape into which it is set: basic masonry volumes are collected by an anodized aluminum rain screen creating walkways and folding down over the laboratories; the skin is patterned by alternating colors and window openings, recalling the patterning of the basket weaving pattern of the local Native American community.
The building is designed as a series of simple lab pavilions organized around a series of interconnecting courtyards. Each of the internal courts and the four corners of the building are active demonstration areas, a continuation of the learning environment, including exemplars of geographic formations, flora and fauna and use of water relative to each of the distinct biomes in the Sonoran Southwest. Shaded exterior walks thread through the sequence of courtyards minimizing the dependency on interior circulation. The inclusion of the courts allows for the interjection of natural daylight and view, and the use of clerestory lighting augments daylight into the lab environment.