George P & Cynthia W Mitchell Institute


Texas A&M University


Size: 180,000 SF

Architect: Michael Graves

Feature: 5 story interior atrium

Sustainability: LEED Silver

George P & Cynthia W Mitchell Institute

College Station

The George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University was designed to capture the imagination of young students who may have never considered a future as a scientist. The Institute’s mission is to present a unified front of research in its core knowledge areas by originating new theories, experiments and observations that illuminate the fundamental structure and mechanics of the universe. Highly sensitive equipment is required to achieve optimum results and therefore the structural design included special provisions to mitigate floor vibrations that would otherwise potentially jeopardize research activity. One such innovation utilized ‘floating slabs’ in several research labs. This building is joined to the Mitchell Physics Building by a pedestrian bridge.

In accordance with the campus master plan, these facilities were designed with environmentally sustainable features to minimize the environmental impacts caused by its construction and to reduce life cycle operational costs. In order to make significant reductions in the embodied carbon for this building, Walter P Moore specified a high cement replacement and maximized the amount of fly ash that could be used in the concrete mix designs for the foundations.