The rehabilitation of Herring Hall for use by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences not only unites one of The University of Arizona’s oldest colleges with one of its most historic buildings, but also provides a permanent home that will allow the Herbarium collection to continue to grow and serve the University and worldwide research community for the next 100 years.
Herring Hall, built in 1903 as the Men’s Gymnasium, is the second oldest building standing on the University of Arizona campus and is listed in the National Register of Historic places as a stand-alone building and as part of The University of Arizona Campus Historic District.
This project represents an achievement in the preservation of the building’s historic integrity, scale and volume while providing for the modern requirements and systems of the Herbarium. Preservation of the historic building fabric while incorporating new elements easily distinguishable from existing construction and designed to provide a glimpse into the building’s past is what makes Herring Hall interesting and unique. It is this sense of fun and eye-catching contrast of new interior building materials and systems with the original fabric that make the Herring Hall design a success.
Old Main was the first building to be erected at the University of Arizona and now stands as the University’s iconic building situated at the heart of the campus defining the axial planning for the remainder of the campus. Originally constructed in 1889, Old Main has served many purposes over the course of the past century.
The project required complete renovation of the first floor to accommodate new programmatic elements and building system improvements. In the design and construction process, the building’s original character, hidden behind layers of renovations, was revealed and brought back to life. Careful attention was made to material finishes and for the layout of spaces that respect the strict symmetry of the original design while providing a modern facility for the Office of Admissions’ purpose of student recruitment and orientation.
Exterior renovation includes a new entrance plaza and ramps that provide, for the first time, meaningful “front door” access to the first floor. On axis with the campus mall, the dual ramp scheme maintains the inherent symmetry of the original structure while opening up views to the first floor entrance hidden behind the grand exterior staircase to the upper level. To maintain the emphasis on this grand staircase, the space between the dual ramps creates a plaza platform to land the grand staircase.
Peeling away years of discord in a multitude of interior remodels, the renovation of interior spaces for all three floors of Nugent Hall brings new occupants and life to one of the historic buildings on the University of Arizona campus.
Exposing openings long covered up and the intervention of modern materials, such as all glass partitions, help create a contemporary open environment that respects and highlights the original design.