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The 2013 IB Commercial Design Awards

(page 6 of 7)

UW-Whitewater Laurentide Hall

Best Office Renovation

The wow factor of UW-Whitewater’s facelift of Laurentide Hall convinced our CDA judges that it was the best office renovation. The formerly bland and bunker-like building was constructed in 1972 and had not been upgraded until now, but our judges felt those who designed its renovation more than made up for lost time.

“Doesn’t look like the same building,” marveled one judge. “Great transformation with pleasant spaces inside.”

The 82,717-sq.-ft. makeover not only transformed the name of the former Carlson Hall, but its purpose as well. Throughout its 37-year life, it was primarily used as the College of Business and Economics, but rapid enrollment and other dramatic changes in that department prompted the university to build a new facility, leaving Carlson vacant.

The building is now the home of UW-Whitewater’s College of Letters and Science, and that vacant look has been replaced with an illuminating 21st century environment. Designers introduced metal panels and expanses of glass and glazing, which included light wells and skylights, to create a modern building with strong visual interest. The designer incorporated cantilevered additions on the upper floors, which helped gain required space while significantly increasing efficiency. 

The dramatic transformation not only modernized every aspect of the building, it also gave the university a chance to leverage new technology, use unique materials, and use an active chilled beam system to cool the building efficiently. Multiple office and storefront windows were added to increase efficiencies, and a new skylight added natural light that will cascade down two stories onto newly renovated areas.

“This had a wow factor,” another judge said. “When you look at what you had, and what you went to, it’s an unbelievable use of an existing building to produce a total, dramatic change. I assume it would be a protocol for future campus renovations.”

Project Credits

Location: 800 W. Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190
Owner/Developer: Wisconsin Division of Facility Development
General Contractor: J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.
Architect: Strang, Inc.
Interior Design Architect: Strang, Inc.
Engineers: Strang, Inc., SRI Design, JSD Professional Services, Inc., Midnight CAD, Inc.
Photography: J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.
Completion Date: November 2012


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