St. Edward's University to Unveil First Completed Building in Campus Master Plan
Three years ago, the St. Edward's University Board of Trustees approved a set of seven strategic priorities and an ambitious campus master plan that, together, defined the future direction of the university. Specifically, the two plans spelled out the university's collaborative effort to be recognized as one of the best small universities in the country by 2010.
“Today we unveil Trustee Hall, the first building to be completed in the university's campus master plan and a brick-and-mortar symbol of the kind of community St. Edward's has been throughout its history,” said George E. Martin, Ph.D., president of St. Edward's University. “Trustee Hall is a dynamic addition to campus and offers us a glimpse of all that lies ahead.”
An academically and environmentally state-of-the-art facility, Trustee Hall was created by Austin architecture firm Andersson·Wise as a modern reflection of the traditional architecture of the university. Arthur W. Andersson, AIA, principal of Andersson·Wise, said the intentionally exposed structural beams and concrete walls help create a sense of life and movement within the structure. “If the bones of our buildings, the circulatory system and all that it expresses, remain visible, it helps our understanding of the way they are made,” he said. “It makes them less institutional, less commercial, more personal.”
Trustee Hall houses 15 classrooms, including three computer classrooms with workstations for 28 students each. Located on the east side of the building, the computer classrooms and a 24-hour computer lab form a three-story tower. Because of the heat produced by computer equipment, the tower has an independent heating and cooling system to reduce energy use in the rest of the building. A concrete brise soleil – or sun shade, which was completely cast in place – absorbs much of the sun's heat on the south side of the building. Strategically placed windows allow natural light to filter into the hallways and classrooms to minimize the need for interior lighting. Both features further decrease the building's energy consumption while adding to the unique beauty of the structure.
The design process itself was personal for both Andersson and the St. Edward's community. After presenting an architectural proposal in June 2000, Andersson and his team spent nine months collaborating with students, faculty members, administrators and university trustees to draft final plans for classrooms, offices and exterior features.
Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, St. Edward's University is an independent, Catholic liberal arts university of 4,260 students located in Austin, Texas.