University of Wyoming’s new energy building brings geology to life with 3D visualization lab

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The University of Wyoming recently opened its new Energy Innovation Center, designed by HOK and GSG Architecture.

The University of Wyoming recently opened its new Energy Innovation Center, designed by HOK and GSG Architecture.

In crafting a building whose main goal is to make the study of natural resources accessible, architects from HOK and GSG did just that: they brought the outside in.

Its purpose is to study what’s buried beneath the earth’s surface, but the University of Wyoming’s Energy Innovation Center isn’t an underground bunker.

The University of Wyoming recently opened its new Energy Innovation Center, designed by HOK and GSG Architecture.

The University of Wyoming recently opened its new Energy Innovation Center, designed by HOK and GSG Architecture.

At the $25.4 million center, 3D visualizations illuminate three walls of a research lab so students can plumb the earth’s subsurface for valuable minerals and fossil fuels.

The three-story, 56,941-square-foot EIC contains 12,000 square feet of flexible research lab space. A massive supercomputing system runs the 3D visualization rooms, which include a 1,296-square foot drilling simulator.

The recently opened Energy Innovation Center features a 3D visualization lab that creates a model of the earth’s subsurface to help pinpoint where minerals can be extracted most efficiently. (Courtesy HOK and GSG Architecture)

The recently opened Energy Innovation Center features a 3D visualization lab that creates a model of the earth’s subsurface to help pinpoint where minerals can be extracted most efficiently. (Courtesy HOK and GSG Architecture)

“Rather than viewing a 3-D screen, the center resembles a cavern with three vertical walls and a floor,” said UW’s School of Energy Resources Director Mark Northam, “that makes researchers feel as if they are physically immersed in the image.”

GSG Architecture of Casper, Wyo. is the architect of record. The general contractor was GE Johnson Construction Co. of Jackson, Wyo.

The recently opened Energy Innovation Center features a 3D visualization lab that creates a model of the earth’s subsurface to help pinpoint where minerals can be extracted most efficiently. (Courtesy HOK and GSG Architecture)

The recently opened Energy Innovation Center features a 3D visualization lab that creates a model of the earth’s subsurface to help pinpoint where minerals can be extracted most efficiently. (Courtesy HOK and GSG Architecture)

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