Carnegie Mellon University

The Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences will crystallize an exciting new vision for Carnegie Mellon by fostering strategic connections and cross-campus collaborations. The building, made possible by a generous donation from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, will extend CMU's campus westward toward other Oakland universities and medical complexes and will create an iconic campus gateway at the corner of Forbes Avenue and South Craig Street.

Watch a virtual tour of the planned Mellon Hall of Sciences building.

RKM interior rendering of collaborative lab space

Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

The Mellon Hall of Sciences will house CMU's Mellon College of Science, the university's School of Computer Science and the public Institute for Contemporary Art. This mix of science, technology and art will spur exciting opportunities for cross-collaboration and embody Carnegie's Mellon spirit of innovation. The building design includes a mix of meeting, study and research environments to help encourage collaboration, discovery and creativity. 

rendering of RKM from above

Connecting to CMU's History

The building is conceived as a two-part structure: the loop, where the building reaches out to the Pittsburgh community, and the tower. The exterior facades of both areas will create a dynamic and interactive experience of the structure that is uniquely CMU, depending on the angle from which it is approached. The loop will be clad with locally made, ultra-high-performance concrete panels that grow upwards in a Fibonacci sequence evocating the shape of a thistle, the national flower of CMU-founder Andrew Carnegie's native Scotland. The tower will be covered with interlocking windows and bricks of varying sizes that, when viewed at a distance, mimic the pattern of a tartan, another symbol of Scottish culture and one of CMU's official school colors.

rendering of RKM interior


Several areas of sustainability are included in the Mellon Hall of Sciences' design. To help maintain energy efficiency, the building will include high-performance glazing, LED lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures, as well as chillers, beams, boilers and energy recovery systems designed to further minimize energy usage. A green roof will help capture stormwater and provide additonal building shading and insulation. Native plant species and water management features will be integrated into the landscaping. The building will also include bicycle facilities and electric vehicle charging stations to support more-sustainable methods of transportation.

Rendering of RKM building exterior from Forbes Street level

Community and Civic Connections

As the new western welcome point to CMU's main campus, the Mellon Hall of Sciences will further connect the university to its Oakland neighbors. Its tenants will be close to nearby universities, medical complexes, and local restaurants and retail spaces. The building's Institute for Contemporary Art, along with the Carnegie Museum of Art next door, will provide additional opportunities for individuals and families to engage locally in the arts.

Team Members

Campus Design and Facility Development is working in conjunction with the following organizations to complete the project: 

ZGF Architects, Washington DC & New York, NY – Design Architect
R3A Architecture, Pittsburgh, PA – Local Architect
PJ Dick Mascaro Joint Venture, Pittsburgh, PA – Construction Manager
Affiliated Engineers Inc, Chicago, IL – MEP Engineers
Langan Engineering, Pittsburgh, PA – Civil Engineers
Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Boston, MA – Landscape Architect