The existing gymnasium building has been vacant on the University of Texas at Austin for some time and during this time many departments have tried to find uses for the building. The two-story structure was built in 1930 and is in amazingly good condition, however the exterior needs to be stabilized and aging roof and windows replaced. The building originally housed women’s athletics and is viewed as one of the historical buildings on campus with the original blended camel exterior brick and red Spanish tile roof matching the original campus buildings.
The University selected BSA to convert the building into a robotics laboratory. The vision was to pull the growing robotics program together on campus form the
three schools and multiple building and campus locations into one space where a collaborative environment could be provided. With no program developed, one
of the key challenges was to get an understanding of all the different labs and their needs to allow them to operate and grow in a new building. This included
understanding the types of spaces needed for each program and finding key elements that could be shared between all the groups.