Michigan State University


Molecular Plant Sciences

“The innovation that has been exhibited within the programming and design phase was critical in helping us to meet our objectives.”

—Douglas Gage, Director of Interdisciplinary Research


Plant science, a study central to addressing important questions facing humanity such as climate change, fuel sources, food production and sustainable management of natural resources, is not merely central to Michigan State—it is foundational. The university challenged SmithGroupJJR to locate, design, program and build an interdisciplinary facility up to the task of grappling with these global concerns, and the emerging research approaches to solving them.

The resulting design bridges the gap between plant and soil sciences, previously located in two separate facilities, through special environments and collaborations. The new space breaks down departmental silos and is populated with groups based around research interests and common themes, rather than by department, creating unique and innovative explorations.

Moreover, additional connectivity in core spaces, designed to allow for transfer of specimens between chambers, labs and greenhouses without exposure to weather, disease or insects, provides ample opportunity for informal meetings and exchanges, too. SmithGroupJJR's design has unified the Plant Sciences program.

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A New Breed of Building for MSU
Jump to page 86 of this e-magazine to read about the new hub for MSU's nationally acclaimed plant research programs.