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acceptable mortar colors. In addition, our campus development has been influenced by the design philosophies of architect Louis I. Kahn, and as such requires that all new facilities respect the existing campus vernacular. Kell Munoz successfully navigated through these requirements to develop an exterior design language that addresses the issue of the brick and mortar. The result is an aesthetic that fits in with the overall look of the campus while maintaining an individuality through brick patterning and the introduction of minimal quantities of Roman-style brick to highlight important details along the exterior facades of the building. The overall building composition outwardly defers to the Kahn-referenced campus architecture but employs a different design language in the interior courtyard/patio. The two contrasting design vocabularies (symbolically representing bilingualism) that modulate at the lobby. The intersecting tectonics of the lobby, metal railing/screen detail and elevator dichos are various architectural interpretations of code-switching. One of the main features of the new building is a large, open courtyard formed by wrapping the new structure on three sides along the east facade of the existing Building B. The use of full glass walls in the new facility achieves two purposes—it gives the new addition a lightness of character that in essence opens its arms in a welcoming embrace of its visitors, as well as creates a great source for interior illumination throughout all three floors of the new building. In addition, a light chimney above the main elevator helps to bring illumination into the central part of the building, by taking full advantage of the warm and omnipresent South Texas sunshine. The use of color also plays a major role in the overall design of the building. Colored wall panels line the main public corridors, and while they are an understated but elegant expression of public art they also serve to further reinforce the main concepts of the design by serving as identifiers through the journey of the educational process. As such, the panels are hierarchical in their ranging from primary colors on the first floor, to secondary colors on the second floor, and to tertiary colors on the third floor. All this and an excellent facility to boot, designed to serve the needs of its intended purpose, while advancing one of the main objectives of the university—to provide state-of-the-art facilities in support of its academic programmes. Among other things, the first floor of the new addition contains a fully equipped lecture hall, clinical psychology division, and a counseling and assessment preparation center. On the first floor of the attached Building D, located to the north of the facility’s

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(preceding spread, left and right) Three-story glass walls embrace the ground-floor courtyard and invest the new addition with a sense of weightlessness. Etched in clear glass, bilingual expressions motivate the students to reach for the sky. (this page, left to right) Bright colors and abundant natural light enrich the interior spaces. A glass-walled study area overhangs the open courtyard, providing a dramatic setting for student interaction and introspection. Bold colors also enhance the first-floor lecture hall.

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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...