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McMurtry Building
McMurtry Building. Photo by Iwan Baan

Richard Saller: Building the Future of Research and Education

State-of-the-art facilities empower students and faculty in the School of Humanities and Sciences to do their best possible work.

H&S plays a vital role as Stanford’s home for fundamental research in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. In Richard Saller’s eleven years as dean, the school has augmented its traditional strengths by creating a network of new, modern laboratories, classrooms, performance venues, and studios—all equipped with the best available tools for creating knowledge and educating the next generation of leaders. Investment in first-rate facilities makes it possible to bring together eminent scholars and talented students in genuinely collaborative environments, the key to fostering learning and discovery.

Science Quad

The Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Biology Research Building and the Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning anchor a new quad that serves as a bridge to the schools of medicine and engineering as well as to the arts district. Adjacent to other science buildings, these facilities provide state-of-the-art work spaces and equipment for Stanford’s biology and chemistry departments and support the school's efforts to continue producing foundational research and training the best scientists.

Bass Biology Building
The Bass Biology Research Building. Photo by Ennead Architects


Set to open in winter 2019, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Biology Research Building will provide laboratory space for about half of the biology department’s faculty and staff, as well as 300 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The five-story building, including a basement that houses the Stanford University Mass Spectroscopy facility, incorporates both wet labs for hands-on research and dry labs for computational research. Bass Biology will foster collaboration by bringing together groups doing related work under one roof.

Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning

A lab in the Sapp Center
A classroom in the Sapp Center. Photo by Lisa Trei

After a major renovation, Old Chemistry reopened in January 2017 as the Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning, meeting Stanford’s long-standing needs for modern teaching spaces in the natural sciences. Designed to facilitate interdisciplinary science education, its adaptive classrooms and labs enhance hands-on instruction and exploration for chemistry and biology students and also provide new teaching spaces for disciplines such as art, history, statistics, and economics.

Arts District

In 2006, the Stanford Arts Initiative launched with the goal of reimagining the role of the arts in a twenty-first-century education and integrating art more fully into campus life and beyond. That vision has been realized, with several new buildings joining the historic Cantor Arts Center, transforming Stanford into a destination for studying, practicing, and experiencing the arts. The proximity of these arts facilities to each other allows for important collaborations, and their location at the gateway of campus highlights the significance of the arts for the university.

The Anderson building
The Anderson Collection. Photo by Tim Griffith

The Anderson Collection at Stanford University

The Anderson Collection at Stanford University opened in September 2014. As one of the world’s most outstanding private assemblies of modern and contemporary American art, the collection has become a research destination not only for Stanford students but also for scholars from around the world. In addition to presenting pieces by major artists across media, the museum offers academic resources such as reading and teaching spaces, as well as a research archive with art history titles, exhibition catalogs, and digital media related to the collection.

Orchestra on stage in Bing Concert Hall
Bing Concert Hall. Photo by Jeff Goldberg

Bing Concert Hall

When it opened in January 2013, Bing Concert Hall dramatically enhanced the quality of performance spaces at Stanford. The 842-seat, vineyard-style hall is designed as an ideal space for a wide range of music, from recitals and chamber pieces to full-sized orchestral works, jazz, and electronic music. As the primary venue for Stanford Live, Bing hosts faculty and student musicians, prominent visiting performers, and Stanford’s ensemble-in-residence, the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Frost Amphitheater
Frost Amphitheater. Photo by CAW Architects

Frost Amphitheater

Renovations are underway for the iconic Frost Amphitheater to reopen in 2019. Enhancements to the 20-acre venue include a permanent stage house with professional backstage amenities, improved concessions and patron services, and access that meets ADA standards. The space will be able to accommodate a range of programming types, including orchestral performances, popular music concerts, speakers, university assemblies, dance, and theater shows.


The 100,000-square-foot McMurtry Building became the new home of the Department of Art and Art History in October 2015. The building brings programs in art practice, art history, film, and design under one roof for the first time and maximizes interactions among different art disciplines. Spaces include digital media studios and a digital darkroom, a print lab, a tinker lab, a 45-seat screening room, a sound recording studio, and larger studios overall. Expanded classrooms and storage capacity have helped satisfy rising student demand for more art practice courses.


Roble Gymnasium, interior
Roble Gymnasium. Photo by Frank Chen

Roble Gymnasium reopened in September 2016 after extensive modifications that created flexible new spaces for studio training and instruction in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies. A new black box theater has adjustable seating options and state-of-the-art technical capabilities. The 5,200-square-foot Roble Dance Studio features a restored sprung hardwood floor and new lighting and sound equipment. Four smaller studios provide additional space for rehearsal and instruction in acting or movement.

Bing Nursery School

Major improvements over the last decade have allowed Stanford’s Bing Nursery School to retain its status as both a preeminent site for research on child development and an unparalleled preschool for its students. In 2009, the renovated Tower House reopened, creating conference and work spaces for faculty, students, and visiting researchers. Subsequent updates improved safety in Bing’s atrium and enhanced opportunities for creative play and observation in the school’s three main outdoor spaces.