University of Kentucky
  • Higher Education

44,000 SF


Design for Integration & Equity

The University of Kentucky’s Grehan Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering revolutionizes the College of Engineering and its first-year programs. With the introduction of a new connector, featuring a fully-accessible gateway entrance along the esteemed Funkhouser Memorial Walk, the center also symbolizes the institution’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity. By embracing students and faculty of all physical abilities, the connector stands as a resounding testament to equity within the College.

The Challenge

Originally constructed to house the College of Communications & Information in 1951, the Grehan Building was repurposed with meticulous detail to accommodate Engineering’s interdisciplinary program.

Addressing the architectural challenge posed by misaligned floors, a striking new glass volume, known as the Connector, was introduced. Seamlessly integrated between McVey Hall and Grehan, this structure elegantly bridges the gap, creating dynamic 24/7 study spaces on each level and fostering cross-collaboration among students from diverse engineering backgrounds and other degree programs.

A New Front Door

The Connector effortlessly links students, faculty, and visitors to the campus core. Once seen as a “back-door” to Engineering, its transformation highlights the impact seemingly ordinary projects can have on a campus. The new “front door” promotes discovery and innovation for every first-year engineer.

Up. Down. Left. Right.

The inviting stairway sections facilitate efficient movement across all three levels, fostering a dynamic interplay between students and the diverse realms of engineering exploration within the building.

Light & Transparency

Abundant daylight and expansive views of nature are enhanced within the structure’s core through the addition of a new rooftop daylight monitor spanning the length of the central spine.

Reimagined Interior

The reimagined interior features expanded circulation corridors, modern labs and fabrication areas, departmental offices, and versatile classrooms equipped with cutting-edge active learning technology.