Mechanical Hall at the University of Delaware was renovated by Ziger/Snead to house the Paul R. Jones Collection, one of the largest and most complete holdings of African-American art in the world. The building consists of three galleries, a study for viewing artwork containing custom-designed flat files, a conservation room, art storage spaces, faculty offices, and a conference room.
The two-story brick and heavy timber structure was built in 1898 for mechanical and electrical engineering classrooms and a machine shop. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973.
Removal of interior partitions and ceilings revealed the original character of the building and exposed the heavy-timber structure. Plaster and paint were stripped off the walls to expose the original brick, and panels for displaying artwork float off of the existing brick walls. The palette was limited to painted drywall, Venetian plaster, dark-stained white oak floors, and white oak doors and casework. Ziger/Snead also added a new glass vestibule to mark the new entrance to the gallery.
Partner-in-Charge: Steve Ziger, AIA
Project Architects: Joe Cellucci, AIA; Craig Carbrey, AIA
Designer: Carl Baker
Project Manager: Chris Vadas
Project Engineer and Superintendant: Frank Lerro,
CAD system, project management, or other software used: AutoCAD
EIFS, ACM, or other:
Solar and Black-out Shades:
Glass Guardrail: Julius Blum & Co., Inc.
Metal Frames: Curries
Upswinging doors, other:
Floor Closers: Rixson
Exit devices: Sargent
Sliding Door Hardware: Häfele
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Casework & Millwork: Group Three, Inc.
Custom Display and Flat File Storage:
Stretched Fabric Wall Paneling: J.A. Brown Co.
Special surfacing:Venetian Plaster: TexSton www.texston.com
Floor and wall tile:
Resilient flooring: VCT: Armstrong
Rubber Floor Tile: Roppe
Custom reception desk: Group Three, Inc.
Custom tables: Group Three, Inc.Lighting
Interior ambient lighting:
Office Lighting: Finelite, Inc.
Fluorescent Lighting: Gūth
Exhibition track lighting: Edison Price Lighting
Framing Projector: Litelab