Auburn University’s College of Architecture Design and Construction and the Harbert College of Business have long had a presence in Birmingham, but not a permanent space. That is changing with the renovation of the 44,000-square-foot Hood McPherson Building on Fourth Avenue North.
Williams Blackstock Architects is overseeing the redesign of the former furniture gallery and warehouse, modernizing the building into a space to accommodate events, offices and classrooms. The building will also showcase projects in Birmingham that have been done through the College of Architecture Design and Construction’s Urban Studio.
“Urban Studio has had such a presence in Birmingham, but this will really put them into the urban fabric and give them a space of their own,” said Mary Melissa Taddeo, Auburn University architect. Urban Studio is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
“This is not only an educational facility, but a place for the community and Auburn family to engage, collaborate and celebrate,” said Matt Foley, a principal at Williams Blackstock and an Auburn graduate.
The building’s façade will be restored and include a modern entrance inspired by the original building’s canopy. Inside, the event space will be flexible and include galleries to support university functions and fundraising, including a video wall on the ground level to host Auburn watch parties.
Williams Blackstock Architects was founded in 1994 and has executed millions of square feet across the U.S.