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Pelli Clarke Pelli at UT in Austin

Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the new Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex at UT in Austin, Texas. Image: Pelli Clarke Pelli

A two-building complex on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin is a new home for the school's computer science program. The 232,000-square-foot (21,600-square-meter) development has been named for Bill and Melinda Gates, while the northernmost of the two buildings is named for Michael Dell.

The two buildings are connected by a central atrium. Image: Pelli Clarke Pelli

Clad in bond-patterned Texas brick and cast limestone, the Gates Computer Science complex, designed by New Haven, Connecticut-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, unifies the department's functions in a single place for the first time, with 60 faculty offices, and 40 more for visitors and technical staff. The building also accommodates up to 350 graduate students and boast about 20,000 square feet (1,860 square meters) of flexible lab space, as well as a 200-seat lecture hall, 10 seminar rooms, seven classrooms, eight conference rooms, and dozens of other seminar, discussion, and computer lab spaces.

The wood-clad center staircase is suspended from upper floors. Photo:

The firm says that the chief organizing unit are the school's 10 research clusters, each with its own subset of the classroom, office, conference, and ancillary academic spaces surrounding two glass-walled computer labs.

In addition to glass, the interiors of the Gates Computer Science Complex are extensively finished with wood grillwork, screens, and paneling.

Rendering of the central atrium. Image: Pelli Clarke Pelli

The building opened on March 6,  2013 and is targeting LEED Silver certification.

Building Credits
  • Client: University of Texas at Austin
  • Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

An upper-floor glass-clad student work space. Photo: Courtesy UT Austin

Building Details
  • Name: Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Center
  • Location: Austin, Texas 
  • Area: 232,000 square feet (21,600 square meters)
  • Floors: 6
  • Energy Use Intensity:  not available

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