The treasures of civilization presented with drama and scale.
The Harry Ransom Center
The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin is the “treasure chest” of the University, housing an astounding collection of, amongst other things, one million rare books (including a Gutenberg Bible), 40 million manuscripts, 5 million photographs (including the world’s first), and 100,000 works of art.
The imposing and forbidding ‘70s era building was extensively renovated in 2003. Working in association with Lake Flato Architects, the Dyal team developed a comprehensive program of interpretive and environmental graphics for the renovation.
The design team, in collaboration with Ransom Center curators, identified images of representative items from the collections. The selected images were permanently etched into glass at the lower level, which serves to convey the institution’s purpose, while softening the effect of the building, making it more inviting and welcoming discovery.
A facade becomes a storyteller.
The Ransom Center’s etched glass walls embody an approach to design that blurs the edges between architecture and graphic imagery – all in the service of reinforcing the Ransom Center’s mission and creating a work of art rich in meaning and beauty.
The effect is super-graphic, yet tasteful and timeless. Maintaining the propriety of the university campus, it is a kind of contemporary variation of stained glass windows— but in this case, celebrating the great creative achievements of mankind.
A signature of expression.
The work demonstrates the power and possibility of integrating meaningful graphic imagery into architectural expression.
The Ransom Center features the windows frequently in its social media campaigns, and the display has become a sort of signature for both the museum and the university.