The Taubman Complex at Lawrence Technological University (LTU), designed by Morphosis and Detroit firm Albert Kahn Associates, provides cutting-edge facilities for robotics engineering, biomedical engineering, life sciences and related programs. Located in Southfield, Michigan, LTU is consistently ranked one of the best technology universities in the country. To appeal to incoming and current students as well as faculty and alumni, the new Complex needed to incorporate technologically advanced design concepts and materials.
Structurflex collaborated with Morphosis to develop the futuristic building façade and designed a scrim made from EFTE, an extremely thin plastic. Often considered “fabric” because of how it moves and can be manipulated, ETFE has the appearance of a hard surface and a reflection like glass.
The ETFE scrim is held off the façade approximately 18 inches outside the 125,000 sqf/11,613 sqm building enclosure, with clerestories behind it. The clerestories allow daylight to flood into workspaces, while the ETFE reduces glare and excess heat that would otherwise accompany the daylight. At night, the building emits an inviting glow.