Out of the Box by REBECCA BOLES, AIA
Applied Brazilian granite accentuates the curved wall along the southern elevation. Suspended from cantilevered steel trusses at the third-level floor, the perimeter wall appears to push out from the orthogonal core of the brick-clad main structure.
Sarah and Steve Smith Entrepreneurs Hall
Texas Christian University
Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford
Linbeck Datum Engineers (structural); Baird Hampton Brown
(MEP); Dunaway Associates (civil) design team
Michael J. Hoffer, AIA; Lee A. Hill, AIA; Jeff Ziebarth,
AIA; David R. Stanford, AIA; Eric L. Hahnfeld, AIA; Suist Tan photographers
t e x a s
a r c h i t e c t
The expanding curricula at Texas Christian University has generated the need for new buildings. As new programs have been added, TCU has been consistently infilling the campus master plan, adding approximately 600,000 square feet of new construction since 1996. Steve and Sarah Smith Entrepreneurs Hall, completed in February 2003, represents the second joint venture at TCU between design architect Ellerbe Becket and architect-of-record Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford. The team also produced TCU’s Tucker Technology Center the year before. Smith Entrepreneurs Hall is home to the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program, but also houses classes for six undergraduate and two graduate programs within the M.J. Neeley School of Business. The entrepreneurship program, founded in 2000, offers a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial management, as well as a master’s concentration in entrepreneurship. The program pairs traditional classroom instruction with student-driven team-learning, and private businesses provide mentoring and internships. Oriented along an east-west axis, Smith Entrepreneurs Hall encompasses 53,000 square feet on three floors. The building’s rectilinear northern facade, composed mainly of brick with doubleheight window openings and a near-continuous third-floor clerestory, parallels a public street. By contrast, the southern facade is a gentle curve of polished Brazilian granite punctuated with glazing which establishes a dialogue with neighboring buildings and a main pedestrian pathway through campus. TCU officials wanted the design of Smith Entrepreneurs Hall to focus directly on students’ needs, even going as far as to omit faculty offices from its architectural program. They asked the architects to create a place for students to call home while they work on the team projects. The team rooms are intensively used by marketing and entrepreneurship students and MBA graduate students.
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