Page 51

The building’s facade incorporates the standard UTA brick while at the same time subtly weaving into the composition an expanded palette of materials, including limestone, granite, and metal panels. Also, the designers have introduced glazed curtainwall to a campus that previously consisted mainly of masonry walls with relatively small punched openings. One of the larger curtainwall expanses defines the three-story glass atrium that frames the planetarium. Internally, the planetarium is more like an immersive projection environment than merely a space to look at projected stars. Consisting of six digital projectors, the system is capable of full-dome video playback as well as more traditional planetarium presentations. In addition, the space is furnished with adjustable chairs that allow the space to be used as a standard – albeit more dramatic – lecture hall. Generous internal glazing along a wide corridor leading off the atrium allows visitors to observe activities within the freshman teaching labs on the ground floor. Upper-level teaching and research labs occupy the second floor, with the third floor reserved for offices and research facilities for graduate students and professors. An outdoor public terrace occupies the roof of the planetarium and serves as a gathering space for members of the entire UTA community. While research labs comprise more than half of the building’s area – which requires requisite security precautions – considerable effort went into providing amenities for the larger campus public. Perkins+Will’s new Chemistry & Physics Building raises the bar of design sophistication on the UTA campus. In addition to the design of the specific building itself, the thoughtful manner in which it is integrated into the campus to create an architecture that acts as both a landmark and as a natural extension of the context provides an example that future projects throughout the diverse UT system should follow.

(left and right) The planetarium’s six digital projectors combine to produce full-dome imagery. The building’s north entry exhibits the standard UTA brand brick along with other materials less common on campus, including metal panels.

r e s o u r c e s unit pavers :

Pavestone;

concrete materials :

TXI;

brick :

Acme ; cmu masonry: Featherlite; limestone : Indiana Limestone Co.; granite : Cold Spring Granite; entrances and storefronts , unit skylights ,

J. Brantley Hightower, Assoc. AIA, works with Lake/Flato Architects in San Antonio.

glazed curtain wall : glazing :

YKK International;

Joel Berman Glass Studio;

resin terrazzo :

glass :

Oldcastle;

precast terrazzo :

decorative

Mapei;

epoxy

American Terrazzo; acoustic wood panels : Armstrong;

interior stone : Indiana Limestone Co.; vct : Azrock; demountable parti tions : Modernfold; exterior sun control devices : Haley-Greer; membrane roofing :

1 / 2

2 0 0 8

Johns Manville; composite metal panels : Alpoic

t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t

49

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...