Renovation Inspiration

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

As the data collection period comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about some broad goals and conceptual designs for the College of Engineering. To get the ideas flowing, our studio toured several recently renovated buildings on campus. Rich Hall, Associate Executive Dean for Research and Facilities, led the tour and specifically highlighted those renovation features that have failed and those that have been highly successful. The tour began at the Biological Sciences Building and moved through Aronoff Laboratory and Cunz Hall before ending at Hagerty Hall.

Two new floors were added to Prior Hall – Spring 2012

The guided tour prepared us for the team renovation assessments that we completed later in the week. Teams headed for Mirror Lake, Pomerene Hall, Thompson Library, Jennings Hall, and several other buildings to examine the various renovations across campus. Some facilities, such as the Ohio Union, are new builds, while other renovation examples can be found in more historic settings, like Hayes Hall. Both types of construction offered important insight into the effects of renovations on facility appearance and functionality.

The ultimate purpose of exploring campus renovation examples was to generate inspiration. Understanding the goals, successes, and failures of completed renovations has helped us visualize similar ideas that could be incorporated into the physical plan for the College of Engineering.

After the assessments, teams presented their findings and impressions to the class. Each team identified several specific features they would like to see translated to the College of Engineering, but a few themes were obvious across the board:

  1. Windows are a hot commodity, and sometimes hard to come by
  2. Transparent work areas encourage interaction and allow natural light
  3. Modern lab spaces are both flexible and comprehensive
  4. Social spaces near elevators and restrooms foster spontaneous interaction
  5. Unique furniture, bright paint, and interesting materials create character



Renovated lab space in the Biological Sciences Building

The design phase is upon us and our studio is ready to deliver. This week we will finish gathering post-occupancy survey information from users across the College of Engineering, which will complete our data sets. We will be challenged to visually diagram the massive amount of information that has been collected over the past seven weeks, but successfully doing so and also reflecting on the renovations we’ve seen will fluently transition us into the physical planning process.


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