Reclaimed wood provides dramatic backdrop in the ESB at Vanderbilt

At Vanderbilt University, the entire campus is designated as an arboretum with many prized mature trees. When the site was selected for the new Engineering & Science Building the University had a difficult time conceding the fate of 42 trees that dated back to the 1960’s. The varied species consisted of Red Oak, Hackberry, Osage Orange, Birch, Elm, Black Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Ash and Post Oak.

With a strong sustainability initiative and a project goal of achieving LEED Gold certification, the design team and University decided to claim the lumber and have it milled for use within the building. In order to maximize the yield, a decision was made to incorporate the varying board lengths, sizes and colors into millwork feature walls. These walls are located in highly visible and central spaces including the main lobbies and elevators. The varied species provide a surprising range of color and texture which results in a lively backdrop that helps provide human scale to the large spaces.

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