Payson Smith Hall Chemistry Lab Renovations

CHA Architecture was engaged by the University of Southern Maine to reimagine the possibilities for the University’s abandoned circa 1960 chemistry lab. The project team was tasked with adapting the existing space to create a flat floor connected classroom, meeting room, and multi-use breakout space to serve as the first dedicated teaching space for the University’s Maine Center Ventures (MCV) program. MCV sought a clean, contemporary space that could function as an instructional space, and also a meeting and gathering space for board meetings, receptions and other events.

With input from the MCV and facilities teams, renovation work began in the Payson Smith Hall chemistry lab. Removal of lab counters, equipment storage, fume hoods, chemical storage and even an emergency shower gave the team a clean slate ready to re-envision. The new MCV space features a TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) classroom capable of connecting to the University’s main campus in Orono, a breakout incubator space known as the “Lab” and a boardroom featuring artwork with a nod to the building’s history.