Hughes Hall Renovation
As a first step to update their facilities, Miami University decided to make renovations to Hughes Hall to act as a “swing space” to house research, class, and activity areas until Pearson Hall could be renovated to house the Biology and Microbiology Programs.
The Hughes Hall renovation consisted of 37,000 square feet of renovated space on the second, third, and fourth floors. Key features include multidisciplinary, flex-lab space on the second floor; a computer lab and a 60-person classroom on the third floor; and specialized learning spaces for the Engineering Department on the fourth floor.
One key consideration in the renovation project was the use of utilities during and after the renovation – a challenge that was increased by the fixed, low floor-to-floor heights in Hughes Hall. The creation of lab spaces in areas that had not previously been utilized for this purpose required a careful assessment of the research types to be conducted in those areas so the use of systems to deliver electricity, water, and gases could be done efficiently and effectively.
The development of learning spaces that fostered collaboration was another key design concept. Classrooms and labs are clustered in proximity to foster conversations, teaching, and experiences to flow smoothly from one to the other. Flexible, modular spaces allow for large and small gatherings fully supported by technology – movable walls with embedded TV screens, whiteboards, teaching/conversational aids.