New Digital Labs and Gallery for UT Austin School of Architecture
Planned renovations to the fifth and sixth floors of the West Mall Building at The University of Texas School of Architecture (UTSoA) will add much needed digital classrooms, a dedicated pin-up gallery and new spaces for the Center for Sustainable Development and the Transportation Research Consortium.
Our design team has proposed exposing the concrete structure and providing economical interventions. “The spaces will be refined, yet raw,” says Page Senior Associate and UTSoA 2011 graduate, Jonathan Schwarz. “We are bringing more daylight into both floors and helping to manage the harsh western light during the evenings.”
The existing offices on the fifth floor will be entirely removed and replaced with three digital classrooms, a pin-up gallery and conference rooms. Exposed concrete floors and ceilings will frame floor-to-ceiling glazing defining the classrooms. The digital classrooms will have capacity for approximately 30 to 40 students and will feature fully integrated technology with large screens.
A pin-up gallery, approximately 80-feet long, will occupy the majority of the western portion of the fifth floor and feature four double-sided pivot panels to be used for pinning up work. Fabricated by UTSoA 2009 alumnus Andrew Danziger, founder of Austin-based Hatch Workshop, the panels will pivot along the walls to accommodate smaller and larger groups for studio reviews. The panels also act as sunshade elements and can be positioned together to strategically block the evening light.
On the sixth floor, the renovations will improve existing corridors and offices spaces with the removal of strategic walls. Four larger spaces will be created, two of which will be used for the Center for Sustainable Development and the Transportation Research Consortium. Large spans of glazing will be introduced throughout the corridors and in the new offices to ensure more daylight reaches the innermost offices/spaces. Finishes will be upgraded on this floor as well.
Page Senior Principal and UTSoA Professor Larry Speck notes “As we have slowly gained space in the West Mall Building over the last 20 years we have not always been able to utilize it optimally because of the lack of renovation money. It is great to see Dean Addington’s priority on making these spaces really work to enhance out teaching capability.”