University of Texas Dallas


Founders Building Laboratory Renovations

“SmithGroupJJR helped the University navigate through multiple campus interests to provide a flexible space for teaching, research, and group study.”

—Brian Fitzgerald, AIA, UTD Project Manager


Heritage buildings offer universities living proof of academic and historical legacies, yet they present big challenges for adapting modern uses and layouts. The Founders Building in Dallas – a symbol of UT's distinguished leadership in natural sciences and mathematics – was feeling its age. The 1960s-era structure wasn't purpose-built, and it needed upgrades to meet fire- and life-safety standards.

SmithGroupJJR took on the project as a tactical, landmark repositioning strategy. Extensive programming studies were followed by fire-protection upgrades and ADA accessibility improvements. Complete interior renovation and a new front-door addition helped integrate Founders Hall into the campus fabric, matching the appeal of the university's most current facilities.

For the laboratories, a third stage of renovations transformed the outdated third floor into a state-of-art research environment with a collaborative core. As the university moves to achiever tier-one status, it is leveraging these new labs to recruit and retain top-notch scientists.

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