University of Maryland E. A. Fernandez IDEA Factory

The University of Maryland’s only facility funded entirely by private philanthropy, the E.A. Fernandez IDEA (Innovate, Design, Engineer for America) Factory is poised to foster research and entrepreneurship through collaboration across engineering, the arts, business and science.  Part of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, this 60,000 GSF building appears to defy gravity – a solid box of flexible research space floats above two glass levels of student innovation and collaboration areas.  The IDEA Factory’s façade features a vast window composed of laminated glass that creates radiant color shifts based on transmitted and reflected light.

Below ground is housed the Quantum Technology Center which required specialized reinforcing and structure to accommodate sensitive equipment. The first floor includes the Startup Shell, the ALEx Garage and rapid prototyping lab equipped with 3D printers. The second floor features a café, conference room, terrace, and skybridge connecting the facility to the 2nd floor of the Kim Engineering building. Moving up the building to the third floor students can access the Maryland Robotics Center’s Robotics and Autonomy Lab and the Collaboration Corner bathed in the colors of dichroic glass. The Lockheed Martin Rotorcraft Laboratories reside on the fourth and fifth floors. The structure at these top levels supports a monorail hoist installation to lift equipment from the ground.

Photos: © Halkin Mason Photography

  • Architect EYP Architecture
  • Owner University of Maryland
  • Location College Park, MD
  • Categories Higher Education