The Discovery Building, which was completed in December 2010, houses the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the private Morgridge Institute for Research in a single, four-story facility constructed on the entire 1300 block of University Avenue (bordered by Campus Drive, North Randall Avenue and North Orchard Street) on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

The building serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research – spanning biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technologies – that will lead to the development of new biomedical treatments and technological applications aimed at improving human health and welfare. It contains approximately 106,000 assignable square feet of research space, including wet and dry laboratories, research support areas, core facilities and offices.

As a gateway to campus for the public, the building also is home to teaching labs, designed as "dream" collaborative learning environments. The labs host a wide range of education programs for K-12 and college students, science teachers and the public.

The main floor of the facility was built as a Town Center to welcome all with food, interactive displays, ongoing activities, hands-on learning labs, events and meeting spaces.  It includes public gathering spaces and restaurants designed to revitalize the streets around the facility and enrich the campus environment.

Built by the Best

Great Step Forward


Building the Future

Count Down to Discovery

Form Meets Function

Innovative and sustainable design at the heart of the Discovery Building

Conventional wisdom suggests that buildings with significant amounts of glass, while visually appealing inside and out, have major downsides for heating and cooling – especially in harsh climates. The building that houses the twin Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, however, is a sustainable departure. The public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the private Morgridge Institute for Research make extensive use of glass in a well-planned environmentally conscious design.

Read the natural ventilation paper (2.6 MB - .pdf file)

Integrated Project Delivery

Learn how the project team achieved all three capital project goals of the Discovery Building – scope, quality and cost – by taking a new direction in construction project management that, just like the facility itself, is based on collaboration and shared ownership. Download a PDF of the white paper.

Visitor Policy

View the Discovery Building Visitor Policy

This policy pertains to all visitors of the Discovery Building research space or non-public areas; during regular business hours and for regular business operations.