About the Nathelyne Archie-Kennedy Building
The School of Architecture is housed in the Nathelyne Archie-Kennedy Building. In order to select an architect to design the proposed building, five national architects participated in a competition: Michael Rotondi of Roto Architects, Antoine Predock Architects, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, Michael Graves and Associates, and Carlos Jimenez Studio. After carefully considering the architects’ proposals, Roto Architects was selected as the design firm, and the Architect of Record was HKS of Dallas. The design began in 2002, the ground breaking was in August 2003, and the School of Architecture moved into the 105,000 sq. ft. building in 2005.
School of Architecture Digital Fabrication Center
Prairie View A&M Fabrication Design Center is a new facility for the School of Architecture. This is an innovative space that will house a variety of equipment allowing students to build, develop and test ideas. The building is divided into assembling space and equipment spaces. Students will be able to go to use multiple methods and equipment to build their work. This state of the art facility will house the latest technology in laser cutters, CNC routers, wood and metal tools as well as 3d printers. The intent is for the process of construction to be done in one location offering opportunities of peer to peer learning, collaboration and cross-disciplinary interaction.
The architecture looks to the prairie
The Fabrication Center is conceived as an elevated plane that references the “prairie”. This plane hovers over the exterior brick walls allowing light to filter into the space. The brick exterior walls reference the extrusion of the plane by revealing the earth’s strata. The entrance, deeply recessed, creates covered outdoor gathering space, while the landscape embraces the building thus creating uncovered gathering space. The building is divided pro-grammatically into three areas; shops, assembly and digital fabrication. As the visitor moves through the space, light monitors and clerestory windows offer illumination and connection to the sky. The interior walls of the assembly space become areas of display that students can display and learn from. This is a new and exciting facility that will inspire architecture students and their work, not only by providing an unconventional model space, but also housing state of the art equipment.
Labs and Workshops
Digital Classroom (Room 223) This university maintained computer classroom is heavily used for instructional purposes by several departments. For regularly scheduled classes this room is assigned through the SOA. For occasional use outside regular class time, this room is reserved by request to the Dean’s office. Print Room (225) This room on the 2nd floor of Nathelyne Archie Kennedy Building contains printers, plotters scanners and both PC and Mac computers and is heavily used by all students. Computing Workshop (entrance to room 223) Located in the 2nd floor outside of the Digital Classroom, this separate space contains work stations for student use. It is open even when the Digital Classroom is closed or being used for instruction. Imaging/Scanning Center (2nd Floor) Scanners, both conventional and wide, and plotters are found in this area. Modelshop The modelshop, supervised by Shannon Bryant, is open during the hours of 8:00 am-5:00 PM Monday through Friday. It is also staffed nights and weekends during the school year with a trained group of work-study students when budget funds are available. Digital Fabrication Lab (room 128) Located within the Model Shop area this separate room contains a number of pieces of numerically controlled cutting and fabrication equipment (Laser Cutters, CNC Router, CNC Plasma and 3D Printer) for student models. Students must be trained before being allowed to use this room and its equipment. For safety reasons the room is closed after hours, unless a staff, faculty or work study student, who completed safety training is present. Storage There are flat files and cupboards for use by departments to store drawings for accreditation purposes.
University The John B. Coleman Library is located across the street from the SOA facility. It holds over 350,000 volumes, including over 800 print periodical titles with access to several thousand electronic full-text scholarly journals. The library is also a participating member of a statewide database-sharing program known as TexShare, and a member of the Houston Area Research Libraries Consortium (HARLIC).
SOA The SOA maintains a small library on the 2nd floor of the building. While receiving support from the main University Library system, having access to topical editions offers benefits to the students allowing for a quiet place to study and do research.
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