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February 3, 2021

University of Kentucky selects Studio Gang to renovate Reynolds Building

The University of Kentucky in the US has selected Studio Gang to renovate the Reynolds Building for College of Design (CoD).

The University of Kentucky in the US has selected Studio Gang to renovate the Reynolds Building for College of Design (CoD).

Studio Gang, together with Louisville-based K Norman Berry Associates Architects (KNBA), will transform the century-old tobacco warehouse into a learning space for design students.

The design, which builds on Reynolds’ current qualities, includes open floorplates and a repetitive structural grid. It aims to facilitate better interaction among people and disciplines.

College of Design Dean Mitzi Vernon said: “I appreciate the cultural approach and language that Studio Gang built into the project. We move now from thinly linked monocultures to a polycultural environment and an adaptive reuse opus that symbolises the sustainable future for which we must advocate.”

The renovated building will feature a timber column grid to demarcate each studio in the open studio space. It will be reinforced by mobile pin-up walls and custom furniture made by CoD students.

The level changes in the current building will be used to set up clerestories, skylights, and a flexible, double-height lecture hall.

In certain parts, the current structure will be modified to create new gathering spaces, sightlines, abundant daylight and vertical circulation.

In addition, the renovated building will have a new steel stair at the centre amid the shared spaces and amenities, including the fabrication lab, café and lecture hall.

FAIA and Studio Gang founding partner Jeanne Gang said: “At a time when it is essential to conserve resources and decarbonise, the work of reinventing existing buildings to serve new purposes has never been more critical.

“The Reynolds project demonstrates this idea, and takes it beyond environmental necessity, showing how re-use can also be a satisfying, creative act of design and making.”

Commenting on the development, KNBA managing principal Bob Haffermann said: “The renovation of the Reynolds Building for the CoD continues a firm legacy of technical expertise combined with sensitive rehabilitation of structures that contributes to our collective cultural, educational, aesthetic and inspirational legacies, all of the things that quite literally make us who we are.”

Vernon added: “This move to the former Reynolds Building allows the college to build a sustainable and innovative atmosphere for the evolution of design education and future generations of students while providing us the room to grow in both scope and size.”

In 2016, Studio Gang announced completion of the Writers Theatre, a performing arts centre north of Chicago, US.

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