Texas Tech University

Innovating Holden Hall

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Composite

TTU Holden Hall Wide Shot

Transforming a Space

Today, the atrium of Holden Hall is a welcoming space where Arts & Sciences students chat at bistro tables or snuggle into club chairs to study for their next class. Vibrant red walls flanking three stories of windows—and the natural light they allow—form a nexus of intimacy where students feel a sense of camaraderie. Photos abound. There's a snack bar that sells fresh sandwiches, chips and cold drinks.

This also has become the gathering place where the college displays pictures of its Dean's Circle members year round and honors its most recent Distinguished Alumni annually. Commemorative wall plaques are unveiled during a brief ceremony that's followed by a reception. Again, the word "intimate" comes to mind.

It wasn't always so.

For decades, this part of Holden Hall echoed with the steps of those hurrying though on their way to somewhere else. It was a space without purpose. Vast. Unused. Cold. Repellent, even.

While new pictures are on the way, here is a photographic journey of the atrium's transformation.

gray line

Below: The first floor of Holden Hall as it appeared before the transformation, followed by its appearance afterward.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Before & After, First Floor

gray line

Below: The basement, to the right of the three-story windows, as it appeared before the transformation (left) and as it now appears afterward (right). Note: When viewed from the basement level, the mural and architectural details to the left of the windows are a mirror image of the right side.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Before & After, Basement

gray line

Below: The second floor of Holden Hall's atrium, looking toward the right side of the three-story windows, as it appeared before the transformation (left) and as it now appears afterward (right). Note: From this angle, the mural and architectural details to the left of the windows are unseen. 

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Before & After, Second Floor

gray line

Below: The mural area to the left of the three-story windows, viewed from the basement, as it appeared before the transformation (left) and as it now appears afterward (right). 

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Dean's Circle Mural, Left

gray line

Below: The mural area to the right of the three-story windows, viewed from the basement, as it appeared before the transformation (left) and as it now appears afterward (right).

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Dean's Circle Mural, Right

gray line

The Dizzying Work
Between Before & After

Below: The scaffolding finds its footing in the basement of Holden Hall.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Scaffolding Goes In

gray line

Below: This view from the second-floor balcony shows the massive scale of this transformative project.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Scaffolding Perspective 1

gray line

Below: Contractors leaning on the first-floor balcony seem far away.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Scaffolding Overlook

gray line

Below: Painting begins with a fresh coat of reflective white to brighten the space.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Painting Begins

gray line

Below: Contractors install an emblem of the Dean's Circle with the Double T.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Mural double T Install

gray line

Below: Contractors install photos of Dean's Circle members.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Mural Photos Installed

gray line

Below: The transformation nears completion as architectural details such as balconies and ledges are painted in the same red as the mural background, at once framing the murals and making them feel part of the architecture rather than an afterthought.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Painting Balcony

gray line

Below: Holden Hall's atrium awaits a new rush of students in fall 2019.

TTU Holden Hall Atrium Wide

gray line

More photos to come.

red line