About This Project
To honor Dr. Howard Hesby, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences commissioned Texas architects The Arkitex Studio to convert the atrium space in the Kleberg Animal Sciences Center into a student lounge. The architectural design of the atrium was designed to reflect the distinctive character of the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Arkitex Studio transformed the existing space by balancing the existing finishes (a severe, concrete, modern brutalism) with a rugged-but-luxurious ranch aesthetic.
The space provides students with a variety of configurations for studying, collaborating and relaxing. An existing planted area was covered with a concrete slab and carpet designed to evoke the fields and farms of Texas. The blue “river” is modeled on a portion of the Brazos River. The team of architects wanted the design to be specific to the activities of the three departments housed in the Kleberg building. The most obvious example of this is the distinctive hair-on-hide lounge chairs and sofas. The mesquite bar and coffee tables evoke a west Texas ranch vernacular. A maroon-colored grass is laminated within the acrylic privacy panel at the bar. Numerous electrical outlets were provided to charge personal electronics. The Bryan-College Station architects renovated the elevator lobby to give an air of formality to an otherwise strictly functional space. The ceiling has been redone, and the wood paneling echoes the wall treatments at the new Agrilife Headquarters building.