SCUP Excellence in Planning for a District or Campus Component, Merit Award
Science & Engineering Precinct at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL and HOK, San Francisco, CA
The Science and Engineering Precinct Master Plan at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa furthers the mission to advance the intellectual and social condition of people in the State through quality programs of teaching, research and service.
“The plan successful blends historical design with modern innovation,” says Robert E. Witt, president of the university.
Many project requirements were considered and five options were prepared. The boldest and most transformative one was chosen to integrate classrooms and labs, promote interdisciplinary thought, and encourage a collaborative, engaging culture.
The project responds to the historical context of the university, yet speaks to 21st century academic and research demands. The university needed to combine the colleges of science and engineering into a shared complex to meet departmental needs and future changes. The new campus precinct plan elegantly wove the strands of the two colleges into a cohesive academic fabric.
A Georgian-influenced architectural character provides a visual and physical connection to the historic campus core. Local brick and stone are incorporated to give a fine modulation of texture. The historic scale and sensibilities are reinforced to create a traditional image and a distinctly regional identity.
The plan transforms the area from a suburban, car-oriented environment to a pedestrian and transit-oriented area by incorporating passive open spaces into a cohesive new landscape and pathway system.
As a result of long-term, visionary thinking, the plan will successfully fulfill university goals and establish a campus precedent for development when fully implemented. The final plan artfully creates a sense of place and inspires leaders to take advantage of this opportunity to transform the campus. The result is a learning environment ideally suited to advance the university’s mission.
The jury said “ . . . they are very clear in articulating their goals . . . stands above others . . . pretty clever phasing . . . very well thought out . . .”
Project Team: University of Alabama, and HOK, with Earl Walls Associates now Xnth