Bowen Science Building
- Health Sciences/UIHC Campus
What You'll Find Here:
- Anatomy and Cell Biology Department
- Biochemistry Department
- Microbiology Department
- Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Department
- Pharmacology Department
- Classrooms and faculty offices
Lactation Room - 4th Floor, 4666-A
Wireless Access - Coverage throughout the building.
Howard R. Bowen’s presidency (1964–1969) saw major investments in the sciences, including the construction of the Spence Laboratories of Psychology and Van Allen Hall. A new home for basic sciences, which was later renamed after Bowen, was planned during his administration and built under President Willard L. Boyd (1969– 1981). Funding for this project included a grant of $5.1 million from the National Science Foundation as part of a project to develop Centers of Excellence across the United States. Today the building hosts the most concentrated site of research on the campus.
Like the Lindquist Center and Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, Bowen Science Building is the work of Walter Netsch and expresses Field Theory, an experimental system developed by Netsch and used in the 1960s and 1970s to generate buildings entirely from their plans. According to Netsch, he wanted to create a “radical” building based on a series of octagons organized along an S-shaped spine and forming flexible laboratory pods. The building’s articulated frame structure, highlighted by the exterior’s brick infill, is spectacularly exposed at all six levels through the projecting center of the east façade.
The decision to make the Bowen Science Building’s structure visible extends inside where an Escher-like fantasy interior reveals the skeleton of the building. The building’s siting blocks the visual axis connecting Old Capitol to Medical Laboratories and General Hospital. As if in compensation, however, its exhaust towers acknowledge the vertical accents of the hospital’s venerable neo-Gothic tower.