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Updated 3:00 PM July 30, 2007
 

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Art & Architecture Building addition
will accommodate rising enrollment

A classroom and office expansion of the Art & Architecture Building to meet growing enrollment at The A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning was approved July 19 by the Board of Regents.

Funding for the $13 million project will be provided from the college's resources and University investment proceeds. The 16,000-gross-square-foot addition will accommodate increased enrollment and faculty growth, and improve the pedagogic environment.

"Our enrollment is up 15-20 percent over the last decade and our faculty head count that much or more, as we've also modestly improved our faculty-student ratio," says Douglas Kelbaugh, dean and professor of architecture and urban planning. "We are out of faculty office space, with lecturers crowded into 95 square-foot offices, sometimes more than two per office. And many of our faculty offices are windowless as well as too small by University standards."

Kelbaugh says the college also needs more classroom, seminar and research space, and a modest, day-lit reading room/library, as the current library is across Bonisteel Boulevard in the basement of the Duderstadt Center.

"The A and A building is a third of a century old and has only had minor interventions to date. So the time is ripe for upsizing and upgrading it," Kelbaugh says.

Because the building is a steel frame structure without load-bearing walls, he says it has been relatively easy to perform small refurbishing projects. Several have won design awards.

A key element of this more extensive addition, on the roof of the south side of the existing building, is to create greater transparency and a more contemporary image.

"This location allows the addition to spill over the south side of the building and transform its purely utilitarian appearance," Kelbaugh says. "This is fortuitous because the south facade, which was originally designed as the rear of the building, has become the de facto front of the building. The addition will be visible from Fuller Road and will be aglow with activity at night because of the extensive glazing."

The college hopes to raise money for a green roof, as well as passive and active solar systems to heat, light and ventilate the addition.

Inside, new instructional, faculty and support spaces will be created on the third floor adjacent to the existing architectural design studios and faculty offices. The project includes necessary architectural, mechanical and electrical support work.

The firm The Miller/Hull Partnership LLP will design the project. "Design will begin immediately, and we will return with a construction schedule when we seek approval of schematic design," reported Timothy Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, in his action request on the project presented to the regents.

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