One of the goals of the renovation of the University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center was to make its vast collection – which includes manuscripts, photography, works of art, books, and major theater pieces – more accessible to the University community and general public. To help achieve this goal, fd2s worked with project architect Lake|Flato to find innovative ways to provide clues to the institution’s mission, and make the facility more inviting.
The architects’ desire to bring natural light into what had previously been a rather dark interior led to the creation of large expanses of glass at the building’s front corners, which where quickly identified as an outstanding opportunity to showcase signature pieces from the institution’s collection.
The fd2s team assessed images from the collection and developed a layout that capitalized on the different qualities of the various media represented, which ranged from photographs and watercolors to charcoal sketches and line art. fd2s then worked closely with the fabricator to select the etching technique for the glass panels that would effectively showcase each of these different types of graphic elements, and supervised their fabrication and installation.