TURNERBATSON, in association with Mackey Mitchell Architects, completed the design of the Charger Union for the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The bridge component enhances student interaction within the building during their daily commute. The building’s plaza and wide, ground-level passages create natural gathering spaces that serve to increase student activity on campus. The architectural character of the building presents an iconic visual reference using established materials across campus, including “Charger Blend” brick, glass curtain walls, and metal panels. Expanses of glass showcase student gatherings such as the dining area, lounge area, and gaming space, while highlighting the vibrancy of student life.
Architectural concrete panels enclose the theater component — providing the needed black-box — while using the building’s exterior as a canvas for nighttime movie projections. The metal paneling flows through the building forms, wrapping horizontal and vertical surfaces and signifying areas of entrance and special prominence. The use of colored LED exterior light projections on building surfaces further embraces “Charger spirit,” significant celebrations, and social/community awareness programs.
This building achieved LEED Certification through the use of sustainable practices.
TURNERBATSON received the 2014 AIA-Birmingham Merit Award in the Institutional Category for this project.