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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    President Robert Shelton cuts a ceremonial steel ribbon with architecture students Eddie Hall, left, , and Elisabeth Ammon at the dedication of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture building yesterday afternoon.
    President Robert Shelton cuts a ceremonial steel ‘ribbon’ with architecture students Eddie Hall, left, , and Elisabeth Ammon at the dedication of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture building yesterday afternoon.

    The new expansion to the UA’s College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture building was dedicated yesterday, marking an end to the eight-year, $12.3 million project that has united the architecture and landscape architecture schools under one “”green roof.””

    “”The building is a laboratory itself,”” said Chuck Albanese, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. “”The structure is exposed; the mechanical systems are exposed; the electrical conduit, where possible, is exposed – all to inform students how a structure is put together.””

    “”The building we are dedicating today is about the future,”” he announced to a crowd of more than 100 students, faculty, alumni, donors and friends of the college. “”It is about a Sonoran landscape garden that is a laboratory for the entire university, a materials laboratory that is state of the art for architecture programs in this country. But, most importantly, this facility is about an environment for educating architects and landscape architects for a changing world.””

    The expansion will soon include a “”green roof”” installation, the first of its kind in Southern Arizona, with Tucson Electric Power’s donation of a physical solar laboratory, Albanese said.

    The 10-kilowatt photovoltaic solar system will power the graduate studios, he said.

    The expansion’s south wall is currently exposed steel grating; in time it will become the “”yellow orchid-vine green wall,”” Albanese said.

    The vines, which are only a few feet tall now, will eventually reach the upper stories and cover the wall with green, he said.

    The expansion is “”in its own unique way, demonstrating how this university is dedicated to improving the human condition, for all of us in Tucson, Southern Arizona, the U.S. and the world,”” said UA President Robert Shelton. “”Sustainability is something this university has invested in for decades.””

    After the speeches, Shelton donned a hard hat, goggles and protective vest for the building’s “”ribbon-cutting”” ceremony that had a new take on an old tradition.

    Shelton grabbed a blowtorch and severed the “”ribbon,”” a small metal connecting rod.

    Part of the expansion involves the Underwood Sonoran Laboratory, a desert garden that gets its water from a 10,000-gallon water storage tank that collects water from the rain and condensation from the building’s cooling system, said Larry Medlin, director of the School of Architecture.

    “”It has integration of landscape architecture and architecture – I quite like that idea,”” said Gayatri Bhushan Patwardhan, an architecture graduate student.

    The College of Architecture was first moved to its permanent location, 1501 E. Speedway Blvd., in 1964, after it moved out of an old Safeway on Park Avenue, Albanese said.

    The planning for the current facility began in 1998 under former dean Richard Eribes, after the addition of the landscape architecture and planning programs to the college, he added.

    “”Today’s university freshmen were in the fourth grade and my hair was a different color when we began planning our expansion,”” Albanese said.

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