Owner: Indiana University
Architect: Flad & Associates
General Contractor/Masonry Contractor: F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc.
Masonry Supplier: Indiana Limestone Co., Inc., Bybee Stone
Simon Hall, located on Indiana University's Bloomington, Indiana campus, is a 140,000 square foot, 7-story science research building with a 23,000 square foot underground laboratory which connects to the surrounding buildings. This building is the center of science and research efforts at Indiana University.
The Indiana University Bloomington campus is known for its' limestone buildings with intricate carvings and details. The exterior of Simon Hall is no different. Located among the most historic buildings on campus, Simon Hall is clad in 5,808 smooth, buff cut limestone pieces which includes window heads, sills and jambs, building quoins and accent stones. There was approximately 25,636 square feet of variegated, chat sawn ashlar used as in-fill for areas between the dimensioned stones. The building is also surrounded by 9,856 square feet of rock veneer walls.
Due to the ornate characteristics of the limestone and high degree of difficulty during installation there were multiple condigurations of stainless steel anchors used to suspend each individual piece. Special care was taken during unloading, handling and installation of each piece to ensure they were installed without damage as the size, weight and unique anchoring system prevented removal without destroying the individual piece and surrounding facade.
The flashing system was specially designed without exposed flashings or weeps other than at the bottom of each wall. This meant extreme attention to detail was required during installation of all components to ensure water was not trapped in the wall cavity and was transferred properly to the weeps installed in the water table at the base of the building.
To personalize the new science building and promote the role of the building, sculptor Amy Brier designed clay molds of research organisms used by geneticists, which included a fruit fly, mouse, four mushrooms, an ear of corn, the bacterium Escherichia coli, and the single-celled Paramecium. The clay molds were then given to the Indiana Limestone Company who carved the figures. Then, Masons installed the works on the building. Woven among the six carvings are letters representing genetic sequence codes. The "Chemistry of Life" series appears on the arches over the windows on the building's east side where the Center for Biomolecular Science is housed.
Simon Hall is bounded on all sides by academic buildings. With limited lay down space, all deliveries had to be carefully coordinated. Wilhelm only had two small access roads, but did not have a road that went all the way through. This meant all construction traffic entered and exited the site the same way and required an escort on and off the campus due to student and staff safety.