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UT Tower is framed by the Norman Hackerman Building. Top left and right The Belo Center for New Media is made up of a series of interlocking cast-in-place concrete and brick building masses. The building houses the broadcast facility for the university’s public radio station.

found on campus buildings. This allowed the old and new communication buildings to act as a cohesive contextual whole. The new building has the remarkable effect of making the older building make sense on campus in a way it never did before. Functionally, the 120,000-sf facility deftly navigates the requirements of a variety of programmatic elements, including both a 300-seat and a 75-seat auditorium as well as the broadcast facility for the university’s public radio station. The L-shaped building defines a landscaped court that also acts as a natural filtration system for the building’s rainwater runoff. Norman Hackerman Building

To the southeast of the Belo Center sits the Norman Hackerman Building. Here, the architects were tasked with replacing an existing science building with a much larger facility that would still respect its surrounding context. At 300,000 sf and more than six stories in height, the building by CO Architects (in association with Taniguchi Architects) is much larger than its neighbors, but the design mitigates its scale through skillful modulation of its mass and facade. Early in the design process a red tile roof was considered to match those of older adjacent buildings, but this was eventually abandoned in favor of a flat roof that also acted as an armature for solar hot water collectors. Although it is an unabashedly modern addition to the campus, the Norman Hackerman Building does possess a familiar tripartite organization with a limestone base topped by a brick shaft and a large overhanging roof. Toward the eastern portion of the building, this organization erodes

34 Texas Architect

11/12 2013

as the brick is replaced by a glass curtain wall that faces a part of campus made up of more modern buildings. Like the Belo Center, the Norman Hackerman Building acknowledges the specifics of its immediate context while referencing familiar elements that define the campus as a whole. College of Liberal Arts Building

Situated at the end of the East Mall, where the recognizable fabric of the campus begins to break down, the new 200,000-sf Liberal Arts Building arguably had the least rarified context to address. Overland Partners leveraged this freedom to create a building that is at once daring in its departure from the stylistic norms of other buildings at UT Austin, and still loyal to the spirit of the campus. The base and attic stories of the structure are set back to reduce the apparent mass of the large structure. At the ground level, this gesture echoes the first-floor arcades of other buildings on campus. At the top, the corresponding setback accentuates the overhanging roof canopy in a move that likewise references older buildings on campus. Providing for a large number of offices and classrooms, the design acknowledges that the spatial needs of such a facility can change radically over time. The interior makes use of demountable partitions to allow for flexibility, while the exterior window pattern was designed to accommodate changing partition placements. The design also sensitively interconnects the building to its immediate context. It locates a student lounge on the Waller Creek Greenbelt and is connected by a bridge to the Student Activity Center (also by Overland Partners).

Texas Architect November/December 2013: Campus Architecture  

This issue explores the value of architectural diversity and creative responses to context. The discussion begins with a series on the three...

Texas Architect November/December 2013: Campus Architecture  

This issue explores the value of architectural diversity and creative responses to context. The discussion begins with a series on the three...