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Institute for Human & Machine Cognition

Posted: January 2, 2018 | Projects

Located in the warehouse district of a historic urban downtown area of Pensacola, Florida, the new headquarters and robotics lab building for the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition embodies both familiar and exciting new imagery.

Researchers at IHMC pioneer technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. Their human-centered approach often results in systems that can be regarded as cognitive, physical, or perceptual. The IHMC staff includes computer scientists, cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, linguists, physicians, philosophers, engineers, and social scientists of various stripes.

Current active research areas include: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, knowledge modeling and sharing, human interactions with autonomy, humanoid robotics, exoskeletons, advanced interfaces and displays, cybersecurity, communication and collaboration, linguistics and natural language processing, computer-mediated learning systems, intelligent data understanding, software agents, expertise studies, work practice simulation, knowledge representation, big data and machine learning, as well as other related areas.

To blend these divergent technologies and express them in a building shape, the architects used traditional materials such as brick, concrete, glass, and steel to form an industrial frame, easily blending with Pensacola’s existing waterfront warehouse structures.

Large interior spaces, some two stories high, are placed within the fenestration and the brick arcade. The roof-top terrace is shaded by a large canopy that connects to grade by a series of tall columns protecting the three-story glass lobby, exhibit gallery, and board room.

The result combines the new and the old, as if the brick warehouse was renovated and adapted to a new use. Research and invention is the product of IHMC, and a sense of discovery, wonder, and faith in science and creativity is displayed in its architecture.


Quina Grundhoefer Architects
400 W. Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

Structural Engineer
RAC Engineering
129 Highpoint Drive
Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

Mechanical Engineer
H.M. Yonge & Associates
102 E. Garden Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

Electrical Engineer
Humber-Garick Consulting Engineers
142 Eglin Parkway, S.E.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Civil Engineer
Fabre Engineering & Surveying
119 Gregory Square
Pensacola, FL 32502

General Contractor
Hewes & Company
390 Selina Street
Pensacola, FL 32503

Location: Maryville, Tennessee
Date Bid: Dec 2014
Construction Period: Jan 2015 to Jul 2017
Total Square Feet: 31,180
Site: 3.17 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: First floor, 10,400; second floor, 7,300; third floor, 10,600; open roof deck, 2,880; total, 31,180* square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 15'8"; second floor, 13'8"; third floor, 13'4"; total, 62'8".
Basic Construction Type: New.
Foundation: Auger cast piling.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtain wall.
Roof: Membrane, metal.
Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

View full project details in magazine issue January-February 2018