Westminster Meldrum Science Center

Westminster College   SLC, UT

project size

60,000 sf

project contact

Derek Payne, AIA, LEED AP





2011 Exhibition of School Architecture | National School Boards Association

2012 Merit Award – Design | American Society of Landscape Architects

2011 Educational Design Showcase | College Planning &

Management | Judges’ Choice Winner, Sustainability & Innovation Awards

2011 Envision Utah Governor’s Quality Growth Award |

Utah Quality Growth Commission

2011 Learning by Design Grand Prize | National School Boards Association

2011 Shirley Cooper and Walter Taylor Awards |

Honorable Mention| American Association of School Administrators

2010 Intermountain Best of Higher Education Project |

Mountain States Construction

2010 Architectural Portfolio | Outstanding Design |

American School & University



In the earliest stages of planning, Westminster was interested in making this building a learning tool for their students. Lessons in sustainability, community, and scientific phenomena are all ingrained in the organization and character of the facility.

The Center, which has earned a LEED™ Platinum certification, is located on the College’s historic campus, on a tight site wedged between historically significant buildings. The Center borrows similar materials, massing and proportions from the adjacent historical structures while asserting itself as a modern research and learning facility. The masonry of the building and the entry plaza are embedded with alchemical symbols that reference the roots of scientific exploration, but more importantly provide students with another moment of research and discovery.

The learning spaces of the building are organized about a central atrium. This atrium, bracketed by exposed exhaust ducts from the laboratory fume hoods, not only brings in desired daylight from above but also fosters a sense of a community and collaboration where it is not uncommon to witness physics experiments (such as egg-drops) from the fourth floor. The transparency from the atrium into the lab and classroom spaces provides views where a visitor can truly see science happening in this award-winning building.