The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Hinman Research Building in Atlanta has endured several major renovations since it opened in 1939. The latest is an $8.5 million restoration and rehabilitation of the facility to bring graduate architectural studies—which had been scattered in multiple buildings on campus—under one roof. The Atlanta office of Lord Aeck & Sargent collaborated with Boston-based Office dA (which has since been renamed NADAAA) to retrofit and rehabilitate Hinman to accommodate studios, computer and research labs, galleries, offices, and classrooms.
The building’s focal point is a 50-foot-tall high-bay shed, which originally contained a large gantry crane, capable of moving several tons at a time from side to side and one end to the other. The architects repurposed the crane’s beams to support a mezzanine suspended by 5/8-inch-diameter steel rods and T-beams. Designated the “Crib,” this intervention is intended to reinforce the studio culture and stimulate collaboration. Jurors were unanimous in their praise of the architectural solution. “To take over this big, mundane space, and then launch this thing into it really changes the game,” juror Raymund Ryan said. “The fact that it’s an architecture school I think is fantastic, because it’s a little essay in how to build something.”
The architects expanded the circulation, according to the building’s original logic, to create new experiences with discrete punctures, access points, and paths. Circulation between levels around the high bay is now enabled by both new and renovated stairs. The south wing has a new spiral staircase linking new administrative offices with the student body, which caught the eye of juror Ted Landsmark. ”You don’t arrive at that beauty and simplicity in engineering without a lot of investigation,” he said. Ryan summed up the jury’s consensus by noting: “Of all the projects we’ve seen, this is one that stands out in terms of attention to detail, just taking pleasure in how things go together.”
Hinman Research Building Rehabilitation and Adaptive Use, Atlanta
Client Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture
Architect Lord Aeck & Sargent, Atlanta in collaboration with Office dA, Boston—Jack Pyburn, FAIA (principal, Lord Aeck & Sargent); Nader Tehrani (principal, Office dA); John Kisner, AIA (project manager, Lord Aeck & Sargent), Daniel Gallagher (project manager, Office dA); Karen Gravel, AIA (project architect, Lord Aeck & Sargent); Tom Beresford (project coordinator, Office dA); Tom Butler, Seth Hammonds, Jim Nicolow, AIA, Claire Oviatt, Cobb Quarles, Ben Ridderbos, Benjamin Scott, Jihan Stanford (design team, Lord Aeck & Sargent); Remon Alberts, Yousif J. Alsaleem, Marzouq A. Al-Mutairi, Arthur Chang, Brandon Clifford, Jeff Dee, Sarah Dunbar, John Houser, Pepe Giner Ivars, Samuel Ray Jacobson, Harry Lowd, Jonathan Palazzolo (design team, Office dA)
Structural Engineer Uzun & Case Engineers—James Case, John Hutton
M/E/P/FP Engineer EMC Engineers—Douglas Gray, Chip Tabor
Cable-Mesh Systems Consultant Officium Design Engineering—David Bradley, AIA
Concrete Repair and Rehabilitation Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates—Paul Gaudette
Civil Engineer Haines Gipson & Associates—Robert McCann
Acoustics The Sextant Group—Brian Patrick
Construction Manager The Beck Group (millwork contractor and custom furniture contractor)—Bill Hicks (project executive); Brad Oliva (project manager); Troy Nixon (project engineer); Steve Wheeler (superintendent)
Structural Steel Subcontractor SteelFab
Masonry and Concrete Rehabilitation Subcontractor Southeast Restoration & Fireproofing Co.
Steel Window Fabrication and Repair Subcontractor Southern Machine Specialists
Glazing Subcontractor Trainor Glass Co.
Framing and Drywall Subcontractor Mulkey Enterprises
Mechanical Subcontractor Ragan Mechanical Contractors
Electrical Subcontractor MetroPower
Fire Protection Subcontractor Century Fire Protection
Size 35,826 square feet
Construction Cost $8.5 million
Photograph Jonathan Hillyer