In response to a 17 percent increase in enrollment over the last ten years, the University of Nebraska College of Architecture is expanding its footprint. The first of two phases wrapped up ahead of the fall 2022 semester. It relocated the school’s library, opening up much-needed space for more studio desks. The second phase is now under construction with the same goal of creating additional workspaces for architecture students. It will also add several new public amenities, like a new lobby, gallery, and rooftop terrace, all while improving accessibility and circulation between the new and existing facilities.
NADAAA and HDR are collaborating on the flexible, 4-story addition. The expansion adds to a medley of buildings at the College of Architecture, some dating back to the 19th century. The last time the college underwent a renovation of this magnitude was in 1987. The latest expansion will add a timber-framed structure with a Kalwall-paneled facade. While disparate in their ornamentation, the existing buildings mesh tonally with the new structure’s dark facade paneling. The prefabricated wall panels are tilted to filter in some natural light and staggered to frame views of the nearby Sheldon Museum of Art.
At ground level, a series of timber beams introduce the material, which then continues inside. In addition to added studio desk space, flexible interiors will accommodate a range of programs for students and faculty—among these spaces for drafting, model making, and seminars, as well as larger meeting spaces that will include bleacher seating designed for crits and lectures. Outdoor learning spaces will be equally accommodating to a range of uses. A central courtyard and a rooftop deck will create ample space for displaying art.
Overall, Phase 2 will offer 33 new and revamped studios, to be completed in January 2024.