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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

William H. Johnston Building at the Florida State University in Tallahassee by Gould Evans Architects

 
October 26th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Gould Evans Architects

A sophisticated collage of old and new that reactivates a historic building in the heart of campus, the Johnston Building celebrates its mixed-use program through the dynamic intersection of circulation and transparency.

Particular attention was paid to the execution details in the building to reinforce the distinction between old and new and pay homage to the craftsmanship of the original building. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

  • Architects: Gould Evans Architects
  • Project: William H. Johnston Building at the Florida State University
  • Location: Tallahassee, Florida
  • Year: 2011
  • Area: 67,000 square foot renovation and 78,000 square foot addition
  • Owner: The Florida State University/ State University System Board of Governors
  • Construction Manager: Peter R. Brown Construction (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore (Tampa, FL)
  • MEP: H2 Engineering (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Civil/Landscape: George & Associates (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Commissioning: TLC Engineering for Architecture (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Artwork: Rob Ley, Urbana (Beverly Hills, CA)
  • Photograph: Adam Cohen Photography

Diverse character and scale define a range of spatial types – reinforcing the programmatic objectives of the design team and the client. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

The 67,000 square foot renovation and 78,000 square foot addition to a 1930s Collegiate Jacobean Building combines an interdisciplinary array of classrooms, laboratories, offices and learning commons. The soaring five-story atrium organizes the building visually and physically, providing each academic department with an identity visible from the main common space. On the upper floors, collaborative areas are balanced with intimate study spaces to support a full spectrum of student interaction. A variety of non-programmed areas encourage students to engage each other informally, connecting the diverse departments and programs.

The five-level plan diagram reflects the organizational partii around a central, vertical atrium, the division between old and new, and the diversity of program spaces.

The crisp, contemporary finishes of the new atrium and addition complement the warmth of the original architecture, distinguishing new from old. The design team retained many elements of the original building, creating spaces layered with history and meaning. The project is designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating, as well as to meet the targets of the 2030 Challenge. It recently received the AIA Florida Honor Award of Excellence for Historic Restoration and Addition for its progressive approach to historic restoration.

The cantilevered atrium stair and detailing reinforces light, transparency and movement. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

A 1960’s connector between the original 1920’s dining hall and the 1936 William Johnston Building was demolished to enable the five-story expansion.

In order to seamlessly integrate old and new, the existing footings were excavated and removed – resulting in the need to provide temporary shoring for several months until new foundations could be installed.

Images show the state of what was once considered the “basement”. Over-excavation sometime in the 1960’s revealed the tops of foundations which were integrated into the design of the new learning commons – enhancing the character of the space. Image credit (right): Adam Cohen Photography

Images show the state of what was once considered the “basement”. Over-excavation sometime in the 1960’s revealed the tops of foundations which were integrated into the design of the new learning commons – enhancing the character of the space. Image credit (right): Adam Cohen Photography

The historic, public face of the building fronts the campus quad – a public plaza and green space which serves as the recreational destination for the entire campus community. Image credit (right): Adam Cohen Photography

The inverted ceiling, clerestory windows, light and reflective materials and energy efficient design all contributed to the building’s LEED Gold certification and were contributing factors towards meeting the 2030 Challenge. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

The five-story atrium was designed to showcase the diversity within the building and bring light and energy deep into the building. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

The concept of transparency was employed throughout the project to reinforce the engagement of students in learning and to reinforce the identity of each of the seven departments within the building. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

Students have affectionately named various spaces within the building based on the space’s character. The “red bar” or the “math platform” have become identifiers and destinations. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

Flexible furniture and material were incorporated into the design to allow all manner of collaboration and adaptation. Glass doors and partitions – both fixed and movable, have become billboards within the building. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

Degrees of transparency, multiple teaching walls, flexible furniture and raised access flooring contribute to accommodation of multiple modes of teaching and learning. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

A prime example of adaptive reuse, these large lecture halls were fashioned from dining halls that had fallen out of use for over half a century. Partitions, drop ceilings and even additional floor plates once divided up these grand halls. The spaces were stripped to reveal the original hand-painted ceiling tiles and wood trim and adapted to spacious lecture halls for use by all university departments. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

This student lounge sits at the intersection between old and new on the first floor. The original doors (which did not meet current building codes) were repurposed, refinished and designed into a screen - as both an expression of the building’s original craftsmanship and a sustainable element. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

The second floor is the level at which all sections of the building – including the 1920’s dining hall – connect; and, it is the most visible connection between old and new. This bamboo strand paneled sleeve was designed to sensitively bridge the connection between old and new – both physically and metaphorically. Image credit: Adam Cohen Photography

Historical photographs of Johnston Hall

Historical photographs of Johnston Hall

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Categories: Building, University Building

2 Responses to “William H. Johnston Building at the Florida State University in Tallahassee by Gould Evans Architects”

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