Flato Architects designs a large timber structure for Trinity University

A new academic building on the campus of Trinity University, a small liberal arts college in San Antonio, is one of the first cross-laminated timber structures to be completed in Texas and is a higher education environment for the second most populous city in Texas The first large-scale timber structure in. Dicke Hall will house the University’s English and Religious Departments and serve as a gateway to Trinity’s business and humanities precinct. The 40,000-square-foot facility, designed by San Antonio’s own Lake | Flato Architects, features six classrooms, a large lecture hall, a screening room, and student collaboration spaces in a well-designed and sustainable building.

Dicke Hall is the final stage of the redevelopment of the Chapman-Halsell-Dicke Complex campus, the university’s largest construction project to date.Over the past decade, Trinity, with its large endowment and named Trinity tomorrow. The lecture hall is named after Trinity College board members and University alumni Jim and Janet Dicke. Jim Dicke is the CEO of Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial forklift equipment. San Antonio Mayor and Trinity University alumnus Ron Nirenberg attended the building’s grand opening on September 23.

Comprising large floor-to-ceiling windows supported by exposed wooden beams, Dicke Hall’s minimalist modern design complements the original red brick buildings of the campus designed by O’Neil Ford in the late 1940s. Ford designed buildings for college campuses in Texas, including the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Dallas, and Texas Woman’s University. Ford’s most iconic project is the Americas Tower in downtown San Antonio, which is based on the Murchison Tower, a 166-foot-tall tower he designed for the Trinity University campus.

Founder of Lake | Flato, under the direction of Ford, incorporates his forward-thinking, sustainable practices into architectural design. The company is no stranger to massive timber structures in Texas. Its SOTO office building was named the first large timber building in Texas, and its Magdalena Hotel in Austin was the first large timber boutique hotel in North America.

“As a gateway to a new business and cultural district, Dicke Hall establishes a significant urban edge for the campus, connecting the town and the robes, and creating a welcoming gateway to the wider San Antonio community. The building’s large-scale timber craftsmanship is A tribute to the campus’ mid-century modern design heritage, while expressing the University’s forward-looking commitment to innovation in liberal arts education and environmental stewardship,” the university said in a project description.

Dicke Hall showcases the latest developments in green technology by using a lot of wood instead of steel or concrete. In doing so, the architects not only significantly reduced the cost of the project, but also reduced greenhouse gas emissions. According to the university, the carbon absorbed by the wood-framed buildings reaches 374 acres of forest. Other green solutions include rooftop photovoltaic arrays capable of generating 78 percent of the building’s energy. Likewise, a hydrological system within the structure collects and reuses condensate water for toilet water and irrigation. The exterior courtyards are landscaped with drought-resistant grasses and native plants to improve water efficiency. Pavers and drought-resistant native plants improve water efficiency around the campus, reducing the amount of landscape that often needs to be watered.

The building is also designed to be free of volatile organic compounds, a harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and 98% of its occupied space has access to natural light, which also contributes to the building’s energy efficiency while also connecting its residents to the natural environment. .

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