Gould Evans Announces Completion of Earth, Energy and Environment Center at the University of Kansas 

Kansas City, MO, April 24, 2018 – Nationally recognized design and planning firm Gould Evans, together with the University of Kansas, Cannon Design and Turner Construction, is pleased to announce the completion of the Earth, Energy and Environment Center (EEEC), comprised of two new buildings, Ritchie and Slawson Halls. A dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on April 25, 2018 to celebrate the grand opening of the facility, which will position the University at the forefront of efforts to address challenges in areas related to energy, natural resources and the environment.

The EEEC, which is located adjacent to Lindley Hall, was designed to be a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility that will act as a central point for all energy and environment research, creating interdisciplinary collaboration between programs.

“The Earth Energy and Environment Center represents the start of a transformation of the facilities at the University of Kansas guided by a philosophy of integration and engagement,” said Robert Goldstein, Provost’s Special Advisor on Campus Development at KU. “Slawson and Ritchie Halls are designed to promote collaboration across disciplines and engagement of students, faculty, and external partners.  We are already experiencing tangible results with collaborations on new degree programs, educational opportunities, and research.”

Using transparency as a design strategy, the EEEC breaks down historic academic silos and offers a more integrated approach to student learning. The organization of research spaces maximizes interaction through permeability between lab bench, shared resources, and office and meeting spaces. Students and teachers can collaborate in a variety of different areas including:

  • Floating, glass-enclosed cubes in Slawson Hall’s atrium that act as meeting rooms

  • A 180-seat large active learning classroom at the heart of the complex, visible and connected to multiple floors

  • Two 65-seat active learning classrooms

  • Enclosed walkways that connect the two halls to each other, as well as with Lindley Hall and Learned Hall, to promote easier movement within the facility

  • Outdoor courtyard space that features a variety of boulders that come from Kansas

The EEEC seeks to put learning on display, featuring exterior material choices that reflect the fields of study that take place within, and celebrates the state’s geological history. Native limestone provides a base for both buildings, while terra cotta panels are arranged in patterns inspired by the layers of rock beneath the state’s surface. Inside Slawson Hall, a 45-foot long Mosasaur fossil hangs from the atrium, appearing to dive after a sea turtle. Both fossils are casts of specimens excavated specifically in Kansas.

“We’re so proud to have partnered again with the University of Kansas to create a home for its cross-disciplinary research that has the ability to shape our future,” said John Wilkins, Gould Evans Principal. “A project of this magnitude requires a state-of-the-art design, yet still needs to take on the identity of its existing context. We were able to create a contemporary facility on KU’s campus that still has affinity to its surroundings by weaving in different design elements like the exterior glazing, which reflects its contextual surroundings.”

The facility is first in a series of new science buildings to define “Innovation Way”. The buildings’ geometry responds to their location at the intersection of two campus grids. Slawson Hall, which includes an Outreach Center, responds to the community grid, while the education program within Ritchie Hall corresponds to the primary campus grid.

Media: Gould Evans architectural staff are available for interviews, and additional images are available upon request. Please contact Megan Krtek at or 816-701-5422.

About Gould Evans
Gould Evans’ award-winning designs are recognized for their specificity to people and place. Our diverse portfolio of architecture stems from a design process that starts with the client’s goals. We share a passion for regional architecture and design that positively impacts our communities. To learn more, visit