University of Kentucky
The design of the $23.6 million Mechanical Engineering / Engineering Commons Building at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, provides a 117,000 SF state-of-the-art building and incorporates laboratory space, teaching facilities, and offices for the Department of Mechanical Engineering. It also houses much needed computing and commons area facilities for all students in the College of Engineering as well as offices for the College’s administration and support service groups.
Designed to blend with the existing surrounding engineering complex, the new building is sited within the heart of the main campus quadrangle on a constrained yet prominent site. The building establishes a dedicated engineering plaza as well as defining the edge of the central campus quadrangle. Through a series of intensive design “charrettes”, scheduled early in the project, the various firms worked together and with the University of Kentucky to systematically develop program, masterplan, architectural design, and construction documents.
A source of particular pride is the collaborative effect of the process. Clearly defined tasks and roles were assigned to talented and knowledgeable professionals who were able to seamlessly mesh the work of their different areas of responsibility and expertise.Through the use of consensus building strategies and an inclusive attitude, the team was able to arrive at a remarkable design for a modern and effective laboratory building that is able to be inserted with sensitivity into the core of the existing central campus.