UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, FRIENDLY HALL
Architect: Richard Shugar, AIA, LEED AP
Remodel In 2009 2fORM remodeled Friendly Hall classroom 214, and then a year later remodeled the room directly below (classroom 106). The two spaces had a similar floor area and footprint profile, and shared issues such as asbestos remediation, integration with the historic character of the building, and single-pane glazing facing a noisy outdoor student-gathering area. Functionally, the intent of the remodel was to give each space better overall performance as a classroom. In order to improve sight lines, an existing floor riser was removed and the space was reoriented toward the south wall as the primary teaching zone. A new lecture podium was installed which also serves to accommodate modern A/V equipment. To dampen the unwanted noise from outside, the surfaces of the room were treated to be less acoustically reflective. On the floor, high-performance carpet was installed that absorbs sound without interfering with furniture mobility. Acoustic panels were applied over furring strips on the walls, creating an airspace behind that improves sound absorption and conceals new wiring runs for outlets and A/V equipment. Lastly, a new dropped ceiling was installed, consisting of acoustic tile around the perimeter and a zone of wood slats down the center of the room. The wood slats help to reflect the voice of the speaker toward the back of the room, yet unwanted noise can still pass between the boards and be absorbed by the acoustic blanket above. Typically, upgrading the glazing would be the first logical step in improving the acoustical and climatic performance of the space. However, the existing windows had to remain intact because of their historic nature, so all improvements had to be made within the space itself. The historic building has no existing mechanical ventilation system, nor a plenum space to accommodate one in the future. The windows are operable, and are located such that some cross-ventilation is possible, however this allows uninhibited flow of outside noise into the room as well. Thus, to improve the climatic comfort in the space, ceiling fans were installed to at least provide air movement even when the windows are closed. Further functionality has been added to the space by installing blackout shades on the windows to block daylight when it is causing too much heat gain, as well as to accommodate better visibility of digital presentations. All of the lighting was upgraded to combination direct/indirect fixtures, switched on occupancy sensors, and is user-adjustable for any desired light level. Lastly, the furniture, especially in room 106, is intended to be easily rearranged from single lecture to small work group settings, in order to accommodate ever-changing teaching strategies and learning styles.