Sam Houston State University, Fred Pirkle Engineering Technology Center

Huntsville, Texas

  • FIRM

    Lawrence Group


    Sam Houston State University

  • AREA

    54,540 sq.ft.





Associated Firms: BSA Lifestructures (Lab Specialist), Jose I. Guerra (MEP/FP Engineering), Structures + Haynes Whaley (Structural Engineering), Walter P Moore (Civil Engineering), DataCom Design Group (AV-IT/Acoustics/Security), TBG Partners (Landscape Architecture), Four Point Lighting Design (Lighting Consultant), Halford Busby (Cost Estimating)

This ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$304.00FEATURED IN2018 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized learning center was intended to honor university alumnus Fred Pirkle and serve as a gateway to the Huntsville campus. The program called for four levels of academic and lab space; levels one and two are dedicated to industrial engineering, level three houses agricultural sciences, and level four is administration.
Massing of the exterior façade reflects the separation of the two disciplines with a two-story masonry and curtain wall base and a two-story-deep fluted metal panel and ribbon window cap. With a 20-foot grade across the site, Level 1 is half-buried into the hillside, and a terraced teaching amphitheater along the north facade camouflages the otherwise steep slope.
The interior focal point is a two-story, collaboration innovation lab with observation points from the second-level entry lobby, corridor and Fred Pirkle museum. An abstract art element hangs over the collaboration lab and eventually reveals itself as an inventor’s “eureka moment,” when viewed from the museum observation point.