An important piece of Georgia Tech’s heritage is re-energized as graduate architectural studios.
The Hinman Research Building adaptive reuse re-energizes an important piece of Georgia Tech's early modernist heritage by transforming it into a flexible annex for the College of Architecture, including new studio, classroom and research spaces. The original building was anchored by a 50 ft. tall high-bay shed, which has been re-programmed in the vertical axis and left open and flexible in the horizontal axis. The uninterrupted floor functions primarily as studio space, but can be re-configured for final reviews, projections, installations, parties or graduation.
A central goal of the project was to engage the existing structure in dialogue to provide didactic case studies for the students of architecture that use the space. For example, original crane girders that sit above the high-bay shed are repurposed to support a new mezzanine suspended by myriad 5/8" diameter steel rods. The rods and a filigree of cable mesh guardrails contribute to the existing logic of structural vectors without obscuring the high-bay's loftiness. The high-bay's original roof trusses also support both the guardrail mesh of a new spiral stair and a grid of retractable pendant lights. Below, the original masonry bears new finishes: bands of pin-up board and custom plywood lockers provide an interface between the functional, human scale and the exposed structure above.
New openings were cut selectively in the original masonry to allow greater visual and spatial communication required by code and the program. The renovation also provided an opportunity to uncover historic windows that the architect had intended as a means of viewing the high-bay space on axis from above; this view is now restored through an interface of frameless glass. The design team paid similar respect to the building's historic stairs and railings, while providing code upgrades in the form of complementary plywood guards.