Perched along Lake Michigan’s scenic shore, Carthage has natural assets unlike most colleges. The Straz Science Center is a state-of the art facility for the study of Natural and Social Sciences located on a bluff above the lake’s west shore. Saiki Design collaborated with a diverse design team to deliver a highly functional home to Carthage’s science department with strong integration of interior and exterior spaces.
Inspired by the unique geography, Saiki Design crafted a site design which engages students, faculty, and visitors in the lake’s panorama view. The design embraces the College’s mission to advance innovative science education by creating outdoor demonstration, collaboration, and teaching spaces. An outdoor classroom, a boardwalk over a bioretention basin, and a deck modeled after the tributary flow of the campus’s Pike River are among the many new amenities layered into the campus experience. Students are now able to safely navigate the bluff’s steep topography and physically access the waterfront in addition to enjoying views from the deck’s upper vantage.