Texas Architect Jan/Feb 2008: Design for Education
Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other editorial content largely written by AIA members in Texas. That collective participation was the basis of Texas Architect’s recognition by the national AIA with a 2010 Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement.
p r o j e c t s c i e n c e A&M’s Vanguard T exas A&M University is in the midst of the largest building program in the school’s history. Two dozen projects on the 130-year-old College Station campus – new buildings, enhanced infrastructure, and major renovations, including a $120 million makeover of Memorial Student Center – are scheduled to be completed within the next five years. This extraordinary $800 million effort is the result of former A&M President Dr. Robert Gates’ initiative that spawned growth strategies originally outlined in the 2004 campus master plan by Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects in collaboration with Michael Dennis & Associates. Among the first wave of projects are two $100 million science-related facilities, both designed by Perkins+Will’s Houston office—the Interdisciplinary Life Science Building (detail of east end shown above), scheduled to be finished this November, and the Emerging Technologies & Economic Development Building, 30 t e x a s a r c h i t e c t by Lawrence Connolly, AIA currently in design with an expected 2011 completion date. The ILSB and the ETED are both located in the campus’ historic core (shown in plan above with maroon indicating buildings already existing or under construction and red indicating sites for future improvements; ILSB is the wedge-shaped footprint). The ISLB’s 230,000 square feet qualifies it as the largest building project on campus since A&M’s founding in 1876. Gates’ ambition for the new facility is to enable faculty to obtain major research funding from federal and private foundation sources, as well as to attract new faculty. The mission of the ILSB will be to integrate multiple academic disciplines in the search for solutions to problems under the general umbrella of complex biological systems. Applying the campus master plan’s directive to increase the density, the ISLB on Old Main Drive borders the hallowed Simpson Drill Field. Rather than making the brand-new, state- 1 / 2 2 0 0 8