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A headquarters for the chief stewards of our Texas coastal ecosystem: UT Marine Science Institute.

UT MSI Exterior
The UT Marine Science Institute research library's flexible design and ample space for collections prioritize accessibility and functionality.
Private office offers abundant workspace, storage, and a casual meeting area.
Strategically placed seating for convenience and comfort.
Efficient furniture layout enhancing lab functionality.

The Marine Science Center’s work to educate the public and inform policymakers on estuarine science is fascinating on many levels, and critically important to a resilient coastal ecosystem.

Interior design for the UT Marine Science Institute – Estuarine Research Center in Port Aransas was one of our first project engagements with the UT system, and still one of our proudest contributions. A collaborative hub, the Center integrates labs, offices, and coastal training areas. Ongoing marine research is centered on ecological stewardship for the coastal region, and the Center collects vital data for global oceanographic organizations.

The University of Texas
Marine Science Institute
Port Aransas, Texas
36,790 SF
Completed 2011

The UT Marine Science Institute research library's flexible design and ample space for collections prioritize accessibility and functionality.
The UT Marine Science Institute research library's flexible design and ample space for collections prioritize accessibility and functionality.

Located within the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (MA-NERR), the Center is a sustainable and functional 36,790 SF facility for marine science research, education, and administration. It includes laboratories, NERR administration offices, spaces for coastal training programs, research areas, stewardship facilities, MSI research laboratories, and offices for permanent scientific staff and visiting scientists.

The design team prioritized the integration of aesthetics and functionality, ensuring that furniture and equipment actively contributes to the facility’s overall environmental performance. Working toward a LEED Silver sustainability accreditation, we prioritized low-emission FF&E specifications, aligned with GreenGuard standards.

The interior is well integrated with the spare architecture of its light-filled modern building. The workplace aesthetic is created through skilled specification of lighting, furniture, and finishes – a relaxed yet businesslike atmosphere perfect for the headquarters of this mission-driven organization. Light, warm wood finishes soften the hard edges of laboratory and library spaces, and small nods to the ocean appear in carpet and seating; subtly relating the workplace to its outside environment.

Aligning with the Marine Science Center’s core mission in sustainability, we focused on LEED standards throughout our FF&E specification.

Victor Castillo

Project Team

Consultants

Valla Design Group

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