The design of the Meinel Optical Sciences building was inspired by photography. The architectural firm Richärd+Bauer explains that its design for the University of Arizona was created to be an abstraction of a darkroom.
Located in Tucson, the Meinel Optical Sciences building evokes the color scheme of a traditional brick building through its reddened copper alloy. The color scheme of the alloy, in addition to the reference to an antiquated method for developing film, tie the building to a past, while the sleek exterior with large windows serves as an introduction to the future.
The University of Arizona intends for the Meinel Optical Sciences building to be the first in a series of new school buildings.