Living Design

Hufft + HGA awarded first phase of new Institute for Integrative & Innovative Research at University of Arkansas

After a competitive RFQ and interview process, we’re excited to share that Hufft has been selected, in partnership with HGA, for the planning and design of the University of Arkansas’s new Institute for Integrative & Innovative Research.

In a follow-up to his annual State of the University address, Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz describes the vision for the Institute for Integrative & Innovative Research (“I3R”) at length. In simplest terms, the I3R will be a flexible and state-of-the-art facility that empowers multidiscipline research and collaboration. It will introduce the needed high-quality research space for faculty and students, as well as future industry partnerships. The I3R will also primarily be focused on five identified innovation clusters: material science, data science, bioscience and bioengineering research and education in metabolism, food and technology, and integrative systems neuroscience. Uniquely so, the I3R will not be owned or administered by a specific academic unit. Instead, it is a university-wide institute, following a hub and spoke model; the I3R will serve as the center for multiple innovation hubs on campus.

The Hufft + HGA team is distinctively positioned for this project for several reasons, one being our shared cultures of design and innovation. Both firms are made of multidisciplinary teams whose collective missions are to enrich the human experience by creating a sense of place. HGA’s 25 years of planning, programming and designing research and laboratory facilities is the perfect counterpart to our innovative design approach and ongoing work at the University of Arkansas and in the Northwest Arkansas region.

Estimated to range between 75,000 and 100,000 square feet, the I3R is anticipated to accommodate up to 80 faculty researchers. We will officially kick off the planning, scope and budget study phase within the next few weeks, working towards a review of the study with the Board of Trustees in November.

We created this model as a series of 3D diagrams to explore collaboration zones that can exist between laboratory and research space. This was only created to foster conversation and thought about the concept, and is not representative of the I3R’s actual design.