Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
The Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building is designed to respect the traditions of the original buildings at the University of Arizona. This is achieved through scale and placement of buildings on the site, their organization around a traditional Tucson courtyard, and the use of campus materials and landscape. It is also very contemporary in its use of open-ended planning, modern systems and materials, and in its formal composition. The aerodynamic forms of the building are shaped to channel ambient breezes through the central courtyard and to identify the place with the work of its occupants. The materiality and craft of engineering is expressed in the technical fittings and fastenings throughout the building. The design celebrates the bolts, turnbuckles, cable clamps, locknuts, hinges, and swivel rings which hold the building together. Lightweight cable supported bridges employing aircraft technology span the courtyard. The courtyard design follows the ecological model inspired by the character of the natural landscape. An outdoor cafe with tables, umbrellas, and shade trees is enhanced by upper level offices with French doors and balconies.