The former design and layout of Broun Hall limited student interaction with a lack of common spaces, compartmentalized circulation zones, and minimal access to daylight. Compounding the poor space planning was the use of dark and dated materials.
The heavy, Brutalist exterior of the original building lacked an identity and connection to the rest of campus. Further, it did not openly address the heavy student traffic coming off the adjacent concourses or provide exterior gathering spaces for students.
Terracing the site down to the building addition allows the sub-grade first level access to daylight and views while also creating exterior lounge spaces and ADA access. The upper level, a glass box perched over the site, now serves as the direct connection from the Ginn Concourse via a gracious exterior stair spanning over the lower terraces.
Atriums were created to further extend daylight to the lower level and visually connect the lounge and study areas between both floors. In the interior hallway, a large skylight was carved out of the existing roof structure over the new atrium below. The newly exposed existing concrete beams acknowledge the intervention to the original structure.
Horizontal fire shutters and fire-rated glazing were used to navigate the limitations of code where transparency and visual communication were key design components. This included large sections of glazing inserted into the original brick corridor walls giving the classrooms and conference rooms access to light and a visual connection to the more public spaces.