Conceptual Design Study
14,500 square feet (renovation and expansion)
In late 2016, Oudens Ello Architecture was commissioned to develop a conceptual design for the renovation and expansion of the Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. OEA's six-month study built on a 2015 strategic master plan that outlined critical needs for the existing 37,000 square foot, travertine-clad museum, designed by Gresham, Smith and Partners and completed in 2003. In close collaboration with museum staff and the Office of the University Architect, OEA's study addresses deficiencies in the original design (daylight control, art movement, café/catering capabilities, limited office space) while also expanding its educational mission and revenue opportunities through the addition of new state-of-the art teaching spaces, a new flexible event space, and a welcoming outdoor terrace accessible to visitors and café patrons. The new functions are housed in a 14,500 square-foot single-story glass addition organized around a shaded outdoor sculpture garden. The addition – in its lightness, openness and transparency – transforms the outward appearance of the museum and strengthens its relationship to the university's new, 85,000 square foot, $69-million performing arts center, currently under construction across the street from the museum. Located south of the main campus, the two buildings will form a new “arts gateway” to the University as one approaches the from the south.