The construction of Harned Hall joins the north and south wings of Thompson Hall, creating a 10,000-square-foot, multi-level courtyard. Landscaped with native foliage, the Brown Family Courtyard houses a research garden, a water feature, study and gathering spaces, and a dramatic glass gazebo cafe in the shape of a crystalline structure. The gazebo contains the Oppenheimer Cafe, offering light fare and Fair Trade coffee.

The courtyard floor makes up one of the Science Center's largest Science on Display installations.