Back in 2014, Southfield, Mich.-based Lawrence Technological University (LTU) launched its “Proud Heritage, Bold Future” campaign, which included a $55 million campus expansion, including construction of the A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Life Sciences and Architecture (TELSA) Complex. Last week, Diab announced that the building, which should be finished by late 2016, will feature a uniquely designed spherical stairwell with an enclosure made with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites.

For the stairwell project, LTU selected Thom Mayne of the internationally renowned Morphosis Architects, based in Los Angeles. According to Diab, Mayne is known for an emphasis on green architecture, and the TELSA complex was designed with sustainability in mind. The architect/engineer of record is Albert Kahn Associates, known internationally for their passion for new materials and construction methods, including composites.

The stairwell, which will be the centerpiece of the TELSA building, will be enclosed in a 44-foot tall, futuristic-looking orb. CONSTRUCT, the South Carolina-based company awarded the contract to design, manufacture, deliver and install the enclosure, brought Sarasota, Fla.-based Design Concepts (formerly JRL Ventures, Inc.) to fabricate the FRP components for the orb’s sphere. Having previously completed a number of highly successful projects with Diab and Composites Consulting Group (CCG), Design Concepts turned to CCG for manifold design and support for the resin infusion process.

Once complete, the new building will support the LTU expansion by linking the existing science and engineering buildings and providing 125,000 square feet of classroom space. Facilities will include robotics and biomedical laboratories in addition to modular spaces designed to accommodate the unanticipated needs of technological education in the future.