The university is investing in downtown Knoxville by renovating and furnishing a historic North Gay Street property for a new studio, gallery, and fabrication lab.
UT is leasing the 20,000-square-foot building known as the Jewel at 525 North Gay Street for several College of Architecture and Design programs. The building’s glass storefront will house a new studio and gallery, and two floors of industrial space will be designated for a fabrication laboratory known as the UT Fab Lab.
The first year will involve $130,000 in renovations and the installation of equipment and furnishings worth $550,000.
“The building once served as a Cadillac dealership and will be the perfect location for sharing the energy and ideas of our students with the public,” said Scott Poole, dean of the College of Architecture and Design.
“Our new space on North Gay will allow us to continue to have a presence in downtown Knoxville during this exciting moment in the city’s revitalization,” said Poole. “We hope that our college can partner with the city and together envision a more beautiful, more ecologically balanced, and more livable urban environment.”
The building is just two miles from the campus and is accessible to students by public transportation. The project will serve as a living example of architectural preservation and sustainable urbanization.
“The skylighted space beyond the storefront is ideal for our new state-of-the-art fabrication facility that will feature 3D printers, laser cutters, and robotics in addition to standard metal and woodworking equipment,” said Poole. “The new technologies, in particular, will allow our students to work with 21st century tools, discovering both their limitations and the hidden potential of this equipment.”
This initiative is part of a comprehensive effort to improve the college’s learning and teaching environments.
“We will move from our present static environment to one that is more fluid and dynamic,” said Poole. “Students will see state-of-the-art equipment that reflects the state of contemporary architecture and design practice.”
Numerous college faculty have been involved in regional forums and development plans, including those for the Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) Consortium, an initiative supported by a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
C O N T A C T :
Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713, email@example.com)