Design for Innovation


Interview with Tim Hawk

“Can we call it the World Media and Culture Center? Hagerty Hall leaves a bad taste in my mouth.” Hagerty Hall was built in the 1920s with an addition for the college of business. Originally, in the 1920s, the building was a U-shape with a formal stair and two wings. The addition in the 40s or 50s made the building into an O-shape. In the middle of the courtyard was an auditorium. 

“When you were in the building and looked out the window, you’d see a brick wall with weeds growing under it,” Tim said. “I remember I had an architecture systems class in it as a senior. I had it on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I had this huge project due, but I remember being worried because I needed to get back to the design studio to get it done. I must have been looking at my watch a lot because the instructor yelled at me. Not in a classroom. It was a lecture hall. ‘Mr. Hawk, do you have somewhere you’d rather be?’ he yelled in front of everyone. ‘Actually, yea. I have a project due, but I’m just going to sit here.’ That’s my memory of Hagerty Hall.”

The biggest hurdle to jump in recreating this building was to cleanse it of the negative connotation it was lugging around. They got rid of the auditorium in the center and built a new one next to it. “It’s the silver bullet,” he told me. “It’s made of stainless steel and it’s added to this historic building. It’s very quiet.” A courtyard was added to allow light in big spaces, to create a moment to break down the repetition of the circular shape. “In each of the corners, there was definitely something going on,” he added. The courtyard made this building the only indoor/outdoor spot on campus, as in, it’s technically inside the building, but it’s outdoors. It fills with snow in the winter and they hold cultural, theatrical presentations in the space.

The schematic design of this project was done by a firm out of Boston. They’re internationally known. “We collaborated with them to accomplish this project. The direction we were going aligned perfectly with my taste. I like everything we did on this project,” Tim explained. This project won a national award from the American Institute of Architects for being one of the top institutional environments of its time.

1999 Pop Culture Facts

1999 is really giving me the heebie jeebies! Y2k: where everyone thought the world was over and whatever because computers. Okay. I get it, I guess, but The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense in the same year? Did anyone sleep? The answer is probably not because they were too afraid and too into their Pokemon cards to sleep. Family Guy aired for the first time and so did The Sopranos. What a terribly confusing year!