The new facility hopes to be a hub for engineering innovation on campus—an aim that’s directly built into its design. “This space is all about reinforcing the relationship between the building and the community and engineering,” explains project designer Alex O’Briant, associate partner of Ennead Architects. “Everywhere you look you see an exposed concrete structural frame, you see roof tresses that form a glass roof, you see this exposed steel on the skybridge … so no matter where you turn, there’s reinforcing of the importance of engineering in the architecture.”

 

"The potential for collaboration is built into the building design as well. “We designed this space with as many different social and study spaces as possible on all three floors,” O’Briant says. And the classroom layout is meant to reinforce the design thinking process, moving from rooms centered on early stage ideation with cardboard and pipe cleaners, to testing rooms with electronic equipment, to an arena where objects can roam or fly if they need to."

Read more in The ALCALDE

Photos courtesy of Cockrell School of Engineering/The University of Texas at Austin

Volume 26/Fall 2017 

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