Purdue University American Railway Building Renovations
West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University chose American Structurepoint to design renovations at the American Railway (RAIL) Building on the West Lafayette campus that would maximize the use of work space for mechanical engineering graduate students. The American Railway Association built and equipped the 2-story building in 1926 to conduct research on railway draft gears. Previous renovations had occurred in 1950 and 1979. This renovation needed to emphasize a more open, collaborative environment suitable for today’s graduate-level studies.
Our scope was to provide schematic design, design development, and final review of construction documents for renovations that would result in open workstation spaces on both floors for graduate students, teaming spaces, proposed restrooms, and relocation of a stairway. Our design team confirmed locations of the existing building’s walls via a site survey. We generated a conceptual design and worked with university staff to refine the design, ultimately creating demolition drawings and taking the approved design from schematic design through construction documents. Challenges included coordinating with MEP consultants to achieve the highest ceiling attainable due to constraints of a low floor structure and in dealing with unforeseen conditions as is always typical in older buildings. The interior design of the materials’ color palette was created by a consultant firm selected by the owner.