Marvin Hall Renovation and Mass Timber Addition

In this architectural renovation and addition, a beloved and historic architecture and design school is preserved and enhanced. While traditional functions of the school are housed in the existing Marvin Hall, the school’s most dominant aspect, design-build, is showcased in the mass timber addition to the south. Eastern White Pine is used as the primary structure of the addition, which is showcased in the main atrium, and is exposed in the classrooms and on the exterior. Glulam columns and beams, and CLT, all of Eastern White Pine, celebrate sustainability in a beautiful and functional space. The mass timber structure is a powerful visual symbol of sustainability and forward thinking, which enhances the hands-on and progressive learning that takes place inside. On exterior bridges, a repetitive, exposed structural system carries users from one space to another. The sustainable material’s uniform appearance also helps tie existing and new spaces together. The use of Eastern White Pine is also crucial where the existing Marvin Hall receives the mass timber addition. As shown in the gallery space, repeating Eastern White Pine members are used to create a rhythm through the space, and create a unique interaction of old meeting new. The axonometric wall section illustrates this interaction, showing the continuation of glulam members and CLT flooring underneath Marvin Hall’s existing floor joists. Eastern White Pine structural systems are used at varying scales to show mass timber’s versatility. User interaction with timber at varying degrees also allows for a more personal relationship with the material. Students can walk underneath exposed mass timber members, follow repetitive wood columns down a corridor, and stand outside on a terrace overlooking these mass timber connections. A clapboard shiplap-like pattern is applied on the exterior siding as a strong expression of the mass timber building. Horizontal wood siding panels are set far off the building, to create deep set windows and curtain walls for controlled daylighting. The sustainable characteristics of Eastern White Pine make the material an exemplary choice for an architecture and design school, where the building itself can inspire and inform future designers of sustainable solutions.


Lawrence, Kansas