Page 48

T

p r o j e c t UT c l i e n t  The

Arlington Chemistry & Physics Building

University of Texas System

a r c h i t e c t Perkins+Will d e s i g n t e a m   Richard

Miller, AIA; Jerry Johnson, AIA; Gary McNay,

AIA; Geoffrey Brooksher, AIA; Sean K. Garman; Carol Cumbie c o n t r a c t o r Manhattan c o n s u l t a n t s   CCRD

Construction

Partners (mechanical, plumbing); Infrastruc-

ture Associates (electrical); Walter P Moore and Campbell Associates (structural); Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers (civil); Atelier Design Associates (accessibility); Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (acoustical and vibration); Atkins, Hanscomb, Faithful & Gould, Busby & Associates (cost estimating); Shen Milsom & Wilke (information technology); Linda Tycher & Associates (landscape); Evans & Sutherland (planetarium); Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (wind/ventilation); Vita-Tech Engineering (electromagnetic frequency interference) p h o t o g r a p h e r James

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t e x a s

Steinkamp

a r c h i t e c t

he study of campus architecture in Texas is truly a lesson in cultural diversity. Just by sampling schools in the University of Texas System, one would observe everything from a Beaux-Arts rendering of Spanish Mediterranean motifs on the Austin campus to a playful reinterpretation of Bhutanese monasteries in El Paso. While the architectural style of the University of Texas at Arlington may not be as distinct as that of its sister campuses, UTA poses similar challenges to architects attempting to insert new facilities into a defined existing fabric. When choosing an architect for its new 124,000-square-foot chemistry and physics lab building, UTA officials recognized the need to employ an architectural team with experience in lab design, but more significantly they also understood that the new building must engage the campus in a meaningful way. To achieve these separate goals, the university’s leadership chose to work with a larger firm offering a diverse portfolio of resources. Perkins+Will’s multi-office corporate structure allows it to take advantage of the expertise of personnel located throughout the country. For the lab building at UTA, personnel from its Atlanta office were brought in to head up the programming and planning of the laboratories. The Chicago office coordinated the overall design while the Dallas office – located closest to the construction site – handled overall project management, including the production of the construction documents and construction administration. While this way of dividing up work among multiple offices is complex, Perkins+Will has developed an effective system for successful interoffice collaborations, as evinced with this very complicated facility. Prior to Perkins+Will’s involvement, the UTA project’s program had already been determined. However, because of the rapidly evolving nature of lab design the client asked Perkins+Will to revisit the process. One result of this reprogramming was the decision to more thoroughly integrate the chemistry and physics departments. Whereas preliminary diagrams located the two departments on opposite sides of an enclosed atrium, the two programs were ultimately mixed together. Informal meeting areas also were distributed throughout the facility to encourage cross-departmental exchanges of ideas. Another idea that was embraced during reprogramming was the integration of a planetarium into the building’s design. While somewhat hidden in a nondescript science building on campus, UTA’s existing planetarium had historically enticed students outside of the department to take

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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...

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...