University of Texas, Austin


Gregory Gym

Austin, Texas

250,000 GSF, 23,226 M2

Architecture, Interior Architecture, Programming


Updating historic Gregory Gymnasium, originally built in a stately Romanesque style in the 1930s, could have been straightforward. But a poorly conceived and executed expansion undertaken in the 1960s made the challenge far more complicated. Inefficient, incongruous and confusing, the addition to the south side of what had been one of UT's most beloved and significant buildings made the gym's functional problems almost legendary. Even the air conditioning was inadequate.

SmithGroupJJR's approach began by stripping away the inflexible floor plans and confusing maze of hallways from the recent addition, taking the structure down to its concrete and steel core. The design concept substantially reprogrammed the floor plan, added new mechanical systems, and added a suspended, three-lane running track overlooking the campus.

Aesthetically, the update celebrates the 1930s façade, exposing once-covered brick walls and windows that now open onto the central concourse. Other than those, any changes to the exterior were minimal and in respect of the gymnasium's status as a historic landmark and its importance to the institution's heritage.

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