Excellance in Clay Masonry

UW-Madison, School of Human Ecology Addition and Renovation (Madison, WI)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Human Ecology Addition and Renovation, Madison, Wisconsin is an approximate 87,000 sq ft addition and 75,000 sq ft renovation of the existing Phillipe Cret building built in 1912. His planned subsequent addition was constructed in 1954. Through a collaborative programming effort with the diverse group of stakeholders, the space needs were determined and best accommodated in both the renovation of the existing SoHE building and the construction of a new addition.

The form of the building on the steeply sloping site reinforces and preserves the green space of the Greater Mall to the south as defined in the 1908 Campus Master Plan. The project pursued a wide range of green building strategies to support the sustainability goals of the School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison and State of Wisconsin Division of Facilities Development. The project is tracking LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Connection, Interpretation & Transformation: The primary goals of the design team were to understand and Connect to the language of the existing campus neighborhood and the historic SoHE building’s classical tripartite organization of base, middle and top. The design team sought to Interpret the key attributes of this architectural context as a means to develop a compatible language of forms and expression through façade by layering of fields, frames and panels within the established rhythm and pattern of the existing structure. The new building was designed to Transform into an architectural statement of individual expression, while respecting and integrating the new building with the existing historic structure. At the same time, being in the spirit of its time, providing a modern facility to enhance excellence in education, research, creative scholarship and outreach.

The existing material palette of stone and masonry was reinforced in the building addition with the use of similar materials, including the use of clay tile, transformed from the traditional hip roof, into a shed roof form and further introduced on the building façade. The clay tile is brought to the ground plane to engage building users through a more tactile experience. The three varied stepped planes of masonry on the north façade create an asymmetrical read within the bay rhythm established by the existing north facade with larger punched openings. A cast stone wrap on the main façade encloses the same offset brick stepped detail to creating a dynamic dialog with the existing symmetrical masonry building detailing.

The building transition in scale, and materials across the site, results in a two-story Preschool Laboratory element located at the west end of the main addition. This variation in massing creates outdoor spaces and terraces to engage the steeply sloped landscape. The outdoor terraces are accessed through the main central corridor, which is varied to create a range of experiences with spatial connectivity encouraging communication and collaboration.

Project Plans

Judges' Comments
  • Great use of masonry products throughout this project. The earth tones help make this project very warm and appealing.
  • Very well done. The transition between the existing and new architectural language is skillfully executed in scale, proportion, material and color.

Architect:Dorschner Associates, Inc

General & Mason Contractor:JP Cullen & Sons, Inc

Brick Manufacturer: Hebron Brick Company

WMA Producer/Supplier:County Materials Corporation