Image courtesy of the University of Kentucky College of Design
The picture is getting clearer for the Studio Gang-envisioned new, unified home for the University of Kentucky’s College of Design after final renderings and a project timeline were just revealed.
The firm beat out five other top-flight firms for the renovation of the former Reynolds Building, which was announced three years ago and has since been bolstered by a $5.2 million gift from local developers Gray Construction.
Now simply named the Gray Building, the 145,000-square-foot structure, originally conceived as a tobacco storehouse, had been sitting largely unused for a period of several years (a rare occurrence on most college campuses) and is now set to become the combined home of the College’s five academic programs and landscape department. A special joint study between the Biomedical Engineering and Product Design programs and a new collaborative design-build curriculum from the College of Design, College of Engineering, and Gatton School of Business and Economics will be included as well.
Construction for the adaptive reuse project is now slated to get underway later in the year and result in a new Broadway-facing entrance between the campus and the Lexington community. The Studio’s founder feels it will also provide an excellent example of the merits of the burgeoning practice area to future generations of Wildcat architects, engineers, and designers.
“At a time when reinventing existing buildings is essential to conserve resources and decarbonize, this generous gift allows us to realize the transformation of the disused Reynolds building into a vibrant hub for cross-disciplinary design education,” Gang said in a statement. “It is particularly meaningful that this gift comes from the Gray family, as they have been passionate champions of the value that great design can bring for both the people and the city of Lexington.”
Watch a quick flythrough video from the College of Design below.