University of Texas - Norman Hackerman Building
P and S Masonry, Inc.
Architect: CO Architects
General Contractor: The Beck Group
Suppliers: Elgin-Butler Brick Company ; Tim Weirauch Masonry ; Precast Concrete Services ; Texas Quarries ; TXI ; Hohmann and Barnard, Inc. ; Reinforcing Steel Supply
Owner: University of Texas
The Norman Hackerman Building is the site of the foundation for some of the most important scientific discoveries of the 21st century, such as safer pharmaceuticals and tools for disease diagnosis. It was designed to accommodate new technologies, and interdisciplinary, collaborative research teams. The University of Texas’ commitment to learning and discovery are exemplified by the building’s design and purpose. It is a LEED silver, showcasing the university’s commitment to sustainability.
Students gather in a double height space, inset into the building’s southern façade where they study against large panels of Cordova Cream limestone. This custom cut limestone clad columns of various sizes frame this airy exterior room. The large columns are also spaced at various widths breaking up this large southern façade and allowing for windows and entrances. Attention to detail was paid with the introduction of custom wood benches set into niches in the tall limestone walls. The first two stories of the entire façade are covered in large panels of limestone, then is pulled into the interior space and even up its eye-catching central stair.
The storyes above the smooth Cordova Cream limestone are clad in one of UT’s traditional Acme brick blends matching its older neighbor, the Larry R. Faulkner building. Angled shaped brick frame the many windows of these upper stories, creating depth as well as providing solar shading.
The site proposed a challenge as it was in the center of the university’s large campus, surrounded and attached to currently in-use existing buildings, making the site especially small and difficult to navigate. Another challenge to the project was the window of time for site deliveries was confined to before 7am or after 5pm because of the high pedestrian traffic present on the UT campus. The Norman Hackerman building was also to blend in to the surrounding established community of Science buildings but had to perform as a cutting edge symbol to the exciting research performed inside. The deliberate combination of masonry products such as large panels of stone in combination with traditional brick, create this dichotomy that the NHB represents.
Date of Project Completion: June 2010
Photography by Kelsey Harper