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Belo Center for New Media Following a competition among 15 firms, a new 120,000-sf Belo Center for New Media is being designed by Lawrence Group Architects for the University of Texas at Austin. Serving as a northwest gateway to the campus, the building will expand facilities for the College of Communication. The project, designed in adherence to the Pelli campus master plan, will reference the modernist expression of the adjacent School of Communication (designed by Ford Powell Carson). A plaza, featuring indigenous plantings at the building’s entry, will link the new building both visually and functionally to the original College of Communication campus across the street. The programmatic aspects of the project include facilities for the schools of journalism and advertising, offices for the dean and administrative staff, as well as a 300-seat auditorium and numerous classrooms and lecture halls. In addition, the Belo Center will house new operations for KUT, the university’s public radio station. The project, slated for completion in 2012, is designed to meet standards for LEED Silver certification.
International Butterfly Park Known internationally as a prime spot for observing the annual migration of butterflies, the town of Mission in the Lower Rio Grande Valley has been the home of the North American Butterfly Association for six years. The nonprofit is dedicated to increasing knowledge of butterflies through field observation and educational exhibits. On Jan. 24, the group broke ground on its 100-acre property to build the International Butterfly Park. The project will replace trailers with a Visitor Pavilion that includes an exhibit hall, reception area, gift shop, conference center, and offices for staff. Designed by Wendy Evans Joseph and Chris Cooper of WEJ Architecture in New York City as an enclosed extension of the outdoor gardens, the pavilion will encompass 4,400 sq. ft. within a masonry exterior, a timber roof, and epoxy/ concrete floors. Philadelphia-based Andropogon Associates is developing the site design with water conservation strategies, shaded environments, and plantings to attract hundreds of butterfly species. The project is scheduled to be completed in October, in time for butterfly season.
UNT Business Leadership Building The new Business Leadership Building by Polshek Partnership Architects at the University of North Texas in Denton represents UNT’s pursuit of green standards as outlined in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Expected to achieve Gold LEED certification, the 180,000-sf facility is designed to accommodate up to 8,000 students (replacing one meant for less than 2,000) and will create a high-tech environment for integrating students with business leaders and entrepreneurs. As UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille stated: “Our new building will provide our students and faculty with a technology-fueled environment that will support their efforts to learn and build local and global partnerships.” The four-story building will feature a planted roof, an Internet café, numerous study and tutoring rooms, and more than 15,000 square feet of classroom space equipped for videoconferences. Construction on the project, funded by $70 million in donations and Legislature-approved revenue bonds began in December, with completion slated for June 2011.
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