Project Profile: Calvin & Tina Tyler Hall
Scope of work: New $69 million, 141,000-square-foot student services building at Morgan State University
BC&E Member Company involved: GWWO Architects
For students at Morgan State, obtaining a parking permit, meeting with a financial aid officer or completing other administrative affairs of university life now takes place inside a stunning space and welcoming campus entry.
Calvin & Tina Tyler Hall brings together 17 university departments to provide a welcoming, one-stop service center for students. Inside the grand lobby, a monumental staircase visually leads visitors to the service center. Large windows overlooking fresh landscaping and multi-story lounges with seating and collaborative spaces provide students with bright, comfortable space to complete tasks, study or relax.
Outside, Tyler Hall creates a dramatic ‘front door’ to Morgan’s campus. Situated between Morgan’s neo-classical and modern buildings, the design for Tyler Hall had to bridge those two styles. GWWO Architects (Architect of Record) working in conjunction with Teeple Architects (Design Architect) gave the new hall a bold, progressive form with sweeping, curved walls but used exterior cladding that echoed the color and markings of the limestone on nearby historic buildings.
The design choices satisfied not only the project’s stylistic challenge, but also its budget constraints.
“The stone façade is actually precast concrete panels with dark Eramosa limestone embedded in it,” said Bob Mock, an associate at GWWO. “This product was new to us and was a great solution to provide the appearance of a traditional stone façade while remaining within budget.”
Stone from a Canadian quarry was set in the precast, concrete panels. Measuring 10 feet wide and sometimes several stories high, the panels were challenging to install, Mock said. “The largest panel was pushing 50,000 pounds. The construction team worked efficiently, hanging three to four panels a day, to close in the building rather quickly.”
The building’s bold forms, both outside and inside, also enabled the project team to deliver a dramatic looking space without having to include expensive materials. The team, however, did have to determine how to create those dramatic forms.
“A complicated architectural form makes for complicated construction. You couldn’t fully communicate everything in a drawing so a lot of details took time to resolve working closely with the CM throughout the design and construction process,” Mock said.
Designers, the construction manager and multiple subcontractors made BIM models. Craftsmen created multiple mockups of certain design elements. And somedays, designers and builders gathered at Morgan to work out a detail inside the construction site.
“The interiors had a lot of unique shapes and forms,” Mock said. “We worked hard to get the lines to come together nicely and the curves to be smooth. This project required a lot of great craftsmanship, especially by the drywallers. The building would not be nearly as successful had they not made the effort to execute so precisely.”