University of Kentucky

Chemistry-Physics Building Third Floor Renovation

The primary objective of the programming and master planning effort was to define the goals and objectives for the renovation project and set the stage for the future re-development of the ground, first and second floors. A series of interactive workshops with University stakeholders established the considerations, limits and possibilities for the project and high-level master plan for the overall building.

The master plan details reorganizing the building internally, so the first floor becomes the most public floor containing classrooms, introductory physics instructional laboratories, display spaces and public amenities. The second and third floors focus on advanced instructional labs, chemistry and laser/optic research labs, graduate student and faculty offices. The ground floor remains advanced physics research labs and building support spaces.

The adaptable building has increased daylighting throughout, and includes highly-visible areas to display research happening within the building. The renovated building also includes expanded corridors and public spaces to allow for seating and collaboration areas. The building accommodates an anticipated 20 percent enrollment increase for physics teaching labs.

Of particular concern was improving safety for the building’s occupants. Because many of the research labs are 24/7/365 operations, care was taken to ensure safety for the researchers outside of regular instructional hours. The design team improved material deliveries and distribution inside the building to reduce the movement of chemicals and equipment in the public corridors to increase overall safety.


Lexington, Kentucky


48,224 GSF (3rd floor)
244,749 GSF (overall)


Master planning, programming, laboratory planning and design


Omni Architects