McKinney York Architects

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Briscoe Center for American History

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The Briscoe Center produced this short video, narrated by Dan Rather, following the completion of their facility renovation.

McKinney York was also commissioned to design the invitations to the grand re-opening of the Briscoe Center, as well as the fundraising brochure used to show the project to potential donors.

The Briscoe Center’s home in Sid Richardson Hall at UT Austin had grown woefully inadequate, offering zero exhibition space, limited access to their vast collections, and a practically nonexistent public profile. Following an assessment and feasibility study and the design of a fundraising brochure, we created this comprehensive renovation to completely overhaul and revitalize their space, increasing the visibility of both the Center and their collections.  This project marked the first significant improvement to the Center’s facilities since they opened in 1971.

A glass awning quietly punctuates a relocated entrance in the breezeway adjacent to the LBJ Presidential Library, putting the front door in sight of 100,000 potential visitors every year. Inside, an inviting lobby leads to multiple exhibition galleries; a technologically-enhanced reading room; and reconfigurable public programming space for lectures, symposia, and more.

Space adjacencies were reconfigured to separate public and private zones in a prototypical museum layout.  This arrangement enables improved security and access control, and more logical circulation.  It also takes advantage of the glass box housing the Center, affording ample natural light where it’s beneficial, and shielding sensitive artifacts and materials where it’s not. McKinney York provided exhibit design, thoughtfully-integrated donor recognition throughout the facility, complete FF&E, and life safety and accessibility upgrades.

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