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NADAAA is collaborating with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and HDR Inc. on a major addition and renovation to the College of Architecture complex. The project will add new flexible design studios and crit spaces to support expanding enrollments. A new lobby/gallery, flexible exterior courts, and roof terrace will allow for exhibits, outdoor classrooms, fabrication, and social functions.

CRITICAL PRESERVATION: MINIMIZING NEW CONSTRUCTION With an expanding student body, the University of Nebraska College of Architecture was at a crossroads. Needing to expand its facilities, it faced the prospect of either demolishing existing buildings, or alternatively adding onto a complex of three buildings that date back to the 19th Century. Architecture Hall was built in 1891, the Law College in 1921, and the “Link” Building was completed in 1985 providing the historic complex with elevators, fire stairs, and a lobby. Despite its large footprint, the “Link” does little more; hence, the newly proposed addition strategically adopts this under-utilized infrastructure to preserve the integrity of this historic campus while offering maximum flexibility for added studio and crit spaces.

MEDIATED CONNECTIVITY: INDOOR/OUTDOOR ROOMS With the construction of Architecture Hall North, we complete the “pinwheel” configuration that allows all phases of this complex to be interconnected, defining a central courtyard–an outdoor classroom. The project is also defined by two covered terraces as well as a roof terrace. The covered terraces are used for large-scale installations as an extension of the exhibition space on the ground floor. The roof terrace is used for alumni events, football game festivities, and outdoor reviews. In all, these outdoor spaces enhance existing campus connections and ameliorate the outdoor environment of the university.

EXTENDING CAMPUS PROMENADES: STRATEGIC DEPLOYMENT OF EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURES By extending the promenade within the existing “Link” building the new addition minimizes new construction. Minimizing unnecessary openings, the majority of light is gained from the north facade, conceived as a stacked prefabricated Kalwall construction, allowing for ambient natural light for the studio interiors. Staggered Kalwall panels allow views east and west, connecting towards the Sheldon Museum and the UNL football game parades.

A PEDAGOGICAL BUILDING: SPACES OF LEARNING AND DIDACTIC INSTRUMENTS Conceived entirely as a mass timber structure, drawing in wood resources from the region, the project is conscious about the use of naturally renewable resources, and responsible farming of wood. Conceptualized as a pedagogical building, the spaces are laid out in a flexible manner to allow multiple spaces of learning, but also to serve as a didactic instrument: the exposure of wood, its structure, and all of its infrastructure allow for students and faculty alike to internalize the building as a learning lesson.

FLEXIBILITY: EXPANDED MODELS OF LEARNING Architecture Hall North contains long-span timber beams to allow for flexible teaching layouts. Working in collaboration with faculty and students, the program calls for drafting tables, model-making, fabrication, seminar configurations, as well as bleacher crit spaces, the sum total of which creates the flexibility of this building.

INNOVATION AND IDENTITY: THE RADICALIZED INTEGRATED BUILDING Conceptualized as a “house of cards” the north facade is built out of prefabricated Kalwall panels, allowing for natural daylighting. Fabricated off-site, the panels eliminate unnecessary added trades and economize on insulation values. The Kalwall daylighting system adds to ambient lighting reducing the number of light fixtures. Light fixtures incorporate sensors for daylight and movement decreasing power draw.

Project Team: HDR + NADAAA

Design Architect: NADAAA
Team: Nader Tehrani; Arthur Chang, AIA; Richard Lee, Matthew Mayberry, Daisy Chen, Tilok Costa, Adrian Wong, Elias Bennett

Architect of Record, A&E Services: HDR Inc.
Team: Thomas Trenolone, AIA; Chandra Wondercheck, Bill DeRoin, Matt Kuhn
Structural Engineer: James Wingert
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineering: Beth Redding
Electrical Engineer: Randy Neihaus
Landscape: Alison Ingunza
Civil: Gary Norton
Interior Designer: Laura Franzluebbers

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