Wilsdorf Hall was designed by Charlottesville architectural firm VMDO Architects PC, in consultation with the professsors who do research there. Constructed by Barton Malow company, it was designed with special consideration for the research planned for the building.
It is an extraordinary building in many ways. Of the five floors in the building, two are below ground; the lowest floor is designed to suppress vibrations in order to allow sensitive equipment on that floor to perform research functions at the nanoscale level. Electric power comes into the building through an isolated switching room before it is distributed in the building, keeping laboratory equipment shielded from the electrical and magnetic fields. There is an air-handling isolation system, which traps and contains chemicals, and a delivery system with multiple functions weaves overhead through the labs.
The laboratories in Wilsdorf Hall house state-of-the-art tools and equipment enabling cutting edge research impacting the fields of medicine, nanoelectronics, and energy and the environment - areas that influence our economy, our health and our world.
Completed in 2006, Wilsdorf Hall serves nanotechnology researchers through the pan-University Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Research (nanoSTAR) and is the expanded home of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering.