H.M. Comer Hall at the University of Alabama
An obsolete building finds new purpose as the heart of the College of Engineering
H.M. Comer Hall is the entry building to the University of Alabama’s prestigious College of Engineering. In addition to serving as its administrative hub, the University’s aspiration was that the renovated building be a powerful recruitment tool, demonstrating the College’s forward-thinking approach in a heroic building on par with the nation’s leading engineering schools. The 54,514sf former classroom building was taken down to its structure and underwent a comprehensive interior and exterior redesign. All building systems were replaced and the interior reprogrammed to support the College’s faculty, administration, and student service functions. The exterior was redesigned to reflect the architectural character of the adjacent Engineering Quad and campus design standards. Incorporating a monumental stair, the foyer of the 3-story building also serves as a grand space for events. Its centerpiece is “The Cube,” a high-tech maker-space where visitors can observe researchers creating conceptual projects through expansive glazed walls. It also offers access to the Welcome Center, playing an important role in student and faculty recruitment and positioning it as the heart of the Engineering complex. Focused on students, the second floor houses the advisory and career development centers, financial affairs, IT, and engineering services. The third floor is home to the Dean’s suite and administrative offices for the College’s seven department heads.
Programming | Space Planning | Architecture | Interior Design
Donald Simpson AIA | firstname.lastname@example.org
“The wow factor is significant. We’ve set a very high watermark in terms of that first impression [students] get when they walk into the college.”