The Power of Place Reimagining the Langford Architecture Center A redesign of Langford Buildings B and C, this proposal aims to transform the Langford Architecture Center into a healthy, sustainable flagship campus facility which unifies the Historic Core and Northside of Texas A&M University. The Power of Place establishes an argument for the location of Langford in the heart of the Historic Core of campus on both practical and political grounds, as well as on theoretical architectural grounds. The solution creates not only an aestheticallypleasing facility, but also a source of sustainable growth for the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University for years to come.
AI Engineering Building
Engineering Activities Building
Harvey “Bum” Bright Building
H.J. (Bill) and Rita Haynes Engineering Building
Wisenbaker Engineering Building
Richardson Petroleum Engineering Building
CVE Laboratory Building
Dwight Look Engineering Building
Mechanical Engineering Office Building
Halbouty Geosciences Building
James J. Cain Building
Jack E. Brown Chemical Engineering Building
Engineering Innovation Center
Mitchell Physics Building
Munnerlyn Astronomy + Space Sciences Engineering
LIVING+DINING Texas A&M University is a self-contained Hotard Residence Hall micro-city, an example of New Urbanism Neeley Residence Hall within the greater Texas landscape. As Hobby Residence Hall shown in the diagram on the right, the Civilian Lounge campus can be broken down into Learning, Living, and Service categories. The Langford Azimuth Cafe Bolton Hall Architecture Center bridges the gap between the Historic Core of campus and Leggett Hall the Engineering District, situated in an The Grill at the Pavilion ideal location on-campus for the training of Sbisa Dining Hall architects.
LEARNING Ernest Langford Architecture Center Jack K. Williams Administration Francis Hall Scoates Building Chemistry Building Anthropology Building Liberal Arts Building Oceanography + Meteorology Building Teague Building Melbern G. Glasscock Building
The Underground Food Court
Milner Hall Lechner Residence Hall
Harrington Education Center TAES Annex Building
Haas Residence Hall McFadden Residence Hall
Biological Sciences Building West
FHK Residence Hall
Food Truck Park The Commons - Residence Halls and Dining
Needs: More versatility, better prefunction space
Computer Services Annex
Central Campus Parking Garage
Cushing Library Archives
Sterling Evans Library
Central Utility Plant
Beutel Health Center
Utility + Energy Services Offices
(Office of the University Architect, 2017)
The current configuration of the complex contains an exterior staircase to resolve an approximately 12’-0” level difference between Scoates Building and the Langford Architecture Center. This proposal eliminates the awkward level change that necessitates a staircase today.
A lack of communication from building-to-building provides little to no interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities, and the bridge has outlived its purpose as a patchwork solution to the problem of growth. This proposal reinforces the existing axis from the East Quad to Ross Street while connecting students from all backgrounds within the College of Architecture.
Proposed improvements include consolidating the two service drives in order to provide adequate trash and service space while still providing delivery access to relocated shop facilities.
The current Langford Architecture Center does nothing to reinforce the streetscape on the North end of the site. Langford2 improves the pedestrian friendliness of Ross Street, taking into account human scale in the design.
The original 1963 Langford C was designed with indoor and outdoor spaces in mind. However, the only remaining accessible vegetated area on the ground floor of the complex is an uninviting space, boxed in by Langford A and a former loading zone. The proposal addresses these shortfalls of the current facilities, creating several comfortable “micro-climates” throughout the Langford Architecture Center.
Numerous urban agriculture projects and habitat restoration projects are currently being explored on the rooftop of Langford A; this proposal provides vegetated rooftops as a “living laboratory” in landscape architecture as well as makes the rooftop of Building A accessible to students once more.
The 1977 Jack Yeardley design of Langford A remains successful today in both its flexibility and creation of public space throughout its main floors. This proposal returns the most public levels of the building to students, relocating the faculty offices while enhancing the lobby “mixing zone” present currently in Building A. Re-programming of Langford A is proposed in several other instances as well.
Needs: More space, connection to new Maker Place
Needs: More space, more open work environments, better connection to architecture studios
Created by Gan Khoon Lay, Valeriy, Tokka Elkholy from the Noun Project
site | the campus
“Selective replacement and infill will preserve and enhance important campus resources while also pursuing the highest and best use of the available growth opportunities.”
Preston Geren Auditorium Seats: 286
Visualization Lab ~4,000 ft2
All Faiths Chapel
the program CoA Woodshop 2,126 ft2
North Side Parking Garage
US Post Office
Building B, a warehouse which houses a lecture hall and a woodshop today, is a patchwork fix to the programmatic needs present in the College of Architecture today. The 1963 design of Building C has been renovated several times in an attempt to keep pace with the growth of Texas A&M. The addition of the Department of Visualization in 1988 introduced new programmatic requirements to the facility, and an addition of a fourth floor to Building C has done its best to accommodate this change. However, numerous life safety code violations and accessibility issues leave demolition of Buildings B and C as the most economical option.
scope | current program
scope | existing site conditions
01 | address axis
02 | warp axis
03 | ramp
04 | tower
05 | mixing zone
In keeping with the “mixing zone” approach to the site, all of the offices in Langford2 are located in a 12-story office tower adjacent to the Bright Building. Containing the Department of Visualization’s faculty offices, the college’s Business Office, Student Services, as well as all of the Center offices, the tower responds to its context on Ross Street. A permeable ground level blends seamlessly with the mixing zone.
drawings | section through office tower
the mixing zone series of ramps takes a cue from Knowlton Hallâ€™s circulation patterns
studio space surrounds the mixing zone, providing views into upper floor activities
transparency offers views through, up, down, and into spaces, as well as enhances the streetscape
Student-Centered Programming With the exception of the Deanâ€™s Office, all 2nd floor offices in Langford A will be relocated to a designated office tower on the North end of the complex.
Study Space All non-programmed space throughout the complex doubles as a flexible study workspace.
Locker Rooms Locating shower facilities next to bicycle storage makes the most of poorly daylit ground floor spaces in Langford A.
central elevator core serves as a wayfinding element as well as facilitates circulation
performance stair provides study, assembly, and leisure space
flexible study space encourages almost constant use of the space
cafe creates a destination within the space
ground-floor connection with office tower adds a layer of convenience and communication
connections exist on four floors to Langford A, unifying the complex
Review Space Taking a cue from Knowlton Hall at Ohio State University,, an oversized performance stair serves as both a wayfinding element, linking floors, and as informal studio jury space.
Azimuth Cafe Relocating the cafe to the primary building axis increases both visibility and accessibility.
Green Roofs Accessible vegetated rooftops maximize the public space created in the complex, creating a rooftop cinema in addition to creating quality views for student and faculty.
Circulation With the exception of emergency egress, all main circulatory elements in the addition are housed in the new mixing zone.
Food Truck Park The mixing zone serves as indoor-outdoor seating for the food truck park proposed across the street while maintaining a visual connection to the future Engineering Quadrangle.
Views Prioritized Visibility of programmatic elements from the street, as well as views in, across and through the space encourage interaction.
Open-Plan Studios Alternating Visualization and Environmental Design studios tier adjacent to the mixing zone. Studios are separated only by grade level, encouraging interdisciplinary interaction.
solution | a full-site approach
the mixing zone
art gallery links student services and mixing zone
series of ramps offers views into upper floor activities
atrium space offers views into upper floor activities
central staircase connects the floors while aiding in wayfinding
double height space offers views into upper floor activities
public piano attracts talent from across campus to play music
central staircase eases wayfinding within the building
intermediate level provides even more seating options
This study places special emphasis on the negative space—the “seam between space and event”—which acts as a social stimulus and facilitates the use of public space on campus.1 The non-programmed space, if treated with as much care as the explicitly programmed areas, distinguishes a simple building from an Architectural Place. The “in-between” spaces in a building are also one of the largest missed opportunities in design. Louis Kahn wrote that negative space in a building can “become a meeting connection and not merely a corridor,” but rather “a place of possibilities in self-learning” which manifests itself in informal gathering spaces and integral building and landscape elements.2 In the case study diagrams on the right, the spatial syntax of three existing lobby conditions is analyzed. By breaking the spaces down into their individual elements, as well as using photographs and observation to determine their effectiveness, several trends can be identified. Langford2 applies and builds on these identified positive elements, creating circulation-driven design of negative space in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M. 1. Tschumi, Bernard. “Ten Points, Ten Examples.” ANY: Architecture New York, No. 3, Electrotecture: Architecture and the Electronic Future,1993. pp. 40-43. 2. Kahn, Louis Isidore, and Robert C. Twombly. Louis Kahn: Essential Texts. New York: Norton, 2003.
drawings | section through auditorium
performance stair provides study, assembly, and leisure space
flexible jury space allows for nearly constant use of the space
cafe creates a destination within the space
Knowlton Hall - Ohio State University Mack Scogin Merill Elam
study spaces along main circulation routes promote interaction
art gallery creates a point of interest in the building
Langford Building A HKS, Inc.
performance stair provides study, meeting and leisure space
cafe makes the space a destination
Ryerson University Student Learning Center Snøhetta
An entirely accessible green roof spans the majority of the site, reducing the urban heat island effect in the hot College Station climate.
Automated window shades provide the ability for total transparency or blackout in both the auditorium and lecture hall in addition to reducing solar heat gain in the space.
The site is angled 38° of due North. Using a script written using Grasshopper, shading fins are able to twist to accept the desirable North light while blocking the harsh direct sunlight.
Installation of low-speed, high-volume fans in the mixing zone aid in occupant comfort while reducing the need for mechanically-forced air.
Egress stairs serve as fire sprinkler risers in both Langford A and the addition
A system of ramps surrounding a cascading staircase form the primary circulatory elements in Langford2
Underfloor HVAC serves Geren Auditorium in Langford2
A mechanical penthouse caps the 12-story office tower
Matching penthouses on the roof of Langford A house the mechanical systems
Langford2 uses the same material palette as A, concrete and glass, but in a completely different way. Whereas Langford A uses glass infill, in the addition the structure serves as a backdrop.
a system of precast concrete double-tees serves as the primary structural element in Langford A
The “10-40-10-40” rhythm of the structural bays in Langford A is carried into the addition, with 30’-0” bays spanning the perpendicular direction.
2’-0”ø round column
4’-0” deep precast beams frame the North-facing skylights
2’-0” deep concrete beam with 0’-18” deep joists (not shown) 4’-0”deep concrete girder
woodshop 6,000 sq. ft. nearly triples the space
Center Offices 25,000 sq. ft. + 3 floors for expansion
VIZ Dept. Offices 14,000 sq. ft.
classroom space 5,800 sq. ft.
Student Services 14,000 sq. ft.
Business Office 7,260 sq. ft.
Department of Visualization 26,000 sq. ft. classroom space 18,000 sq. ft.
exhibition space 2-story portion of 4-story connecting volume
+ nearly 20,000 sq. ft room for expansion
Azimuth Cafe relocated from Langford A
Geren Auditorium 208 seats
studio space undergraduate + converting 6,000 sq. ft of Langford A to studios
lecture hall 153 seats
drawings | exploded axonometric
perspective | mixing zone from studio ramp
classroom sleeping pods
plan | level 1 (ross street)
plan | level 2 (east quad)
department of visualization
plan | level 3
plan | level 4
perspective | studios from 5th floor
perspective | geren auditorium
plan | level 5
perspective | connection to existing
perspective | view from ross street
Published on Mar 7, 2018