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nearly half a century of use and exposure to the harsh Texas weather, UT Austin turned to Overland Partners of San Antonio. with a light hand and a sincere respect for the genius of Bunshaft’s work. Overland’s most visible contribution to the Library is the replacement of the original fountains with raised planters that pay homage to Lady Bird Johnson’s commitment to and love of the native landscapes of Central Texas. Overland’s

Overland approached the undertaking

Overland’s most visible contribution to the Library is the replacement of the original fountains with raised planters that pay homage to Lady Bird Johnson’s commitment to and love of the native landscapes of Central Texas. work inside the Library is most evident in the Lady Bird Johnson Center located on the lower level inside the podium. Here, they enlivened the dark space with a backlit, colorful glass mural by Gordon Huether depicting the significant contributions of Lady Bird Johnson to the cultural life of the nation. The new mural honoring the former first lady resonates meaningfully with the bronze mural in the Great Hall that commemorates the former president.

While it is clear that Bunshaft intended a symbolic connection to the university, it is equally evident that the Library was never envisioned to be an integral component of the day-to-day life of the campus; however, in 2012, UT Austin adopted a new master plan that, when realized, will substantially change the Library’s relationship to the campus. With little room to accommodate future growth within the core campus area, the master plan designates the areas between that core and the I-35 interstate highway to the east of the Library as the most appropriate for future expansion. The immediate environs of the LBJ Presidential Library are slated to accommodate over 2 million gross square feet of new construction. For perspective, this is equivalent to about 10 percent of the current campus, or, as the master plan estimates, about a decade’s worth of growth. The plan will replace the vast parking lots to the east of Sid Richardson Hall with a more dense fabric of campus structures and open spaces reminiscent of those in the core campus. If carried out as envisioned, the denser campus will avoid impinging on the prominence of the Library, and by bringing more humanely-scaled spaces in close proximity, the growth will likely accentuate the monumentality that Bunshaft thought so well suited LBJ’s character. Al York, AIA, is principal of McKinney York Architects in Austin.

11/12 2013

Texas Architect 73

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...