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Urban Studio Gets a New Look

Urban Studio Window Sign

Use of the Urban Studio’s new space at the corner of 20th Street and 3rd Avenue North in downtown Birmingham is currently in full swing for its second academic year.  Many improvements were made to the space during the first academic year. All students were provided with individual rolling storage shelves and swing arm lamps. In addition, all the desks were updated with new plug molds.

The outside of the building was painted and blinds were put in the front windows. All windows are now adorned with the new Auburn Urban Studio logo. A new water fountain was installed, and the kitchen area will be equipped with new cabinets in the month of October.

A laser cutter has been procured for the studio that will allow the students to do more model making work in Birmingham. This fall the second floor will be built out for a workshop that will include the laser cutter and a number of tools, including a compound miter saw and a drill press, all for the students’ use.

In addition to the improvements that were made during the studio’s first academic year, two of the students, Matthew Mason and Quinn MacKenzie, worked as interns under Professor Alex Krumdieck on plans for the renovation for the building. Final renderings were finished by another student after graduation, Carlos Hernandez.

The design for the Urban Studio Renovation is based around three core principles: visibility, collaboration, and agility. The program begins with a highly visible public component on the ground floor. This space was designed to provide for many different opportunities including temporary gallery exhibits, banquets, alumni gatherings, summer camps, and lectures.

The renovation design also includes a new mezzanine area for office and administrative space. The second and third floors house the student design studios and classrooms. There will be a glass wall that extends vertically through the building creating a connection for all of the floors. The glass accepts dry erase markers and magnets allowing for rapid pin-ups. The main studio space is entirely open and also contains a library, restrooms and plotting equipment.

The existing building area is 15,000 square feet.

For the entire renovation plans PDF:

Urban Studio Improvements and Future Renovation

If you’d like to contribute to the renovation for the Urban Studio please go to the CADC’s campaign webpage and indicate “Urban Studio” in the gift designation box:

There is an option of spreading out a larger gift over a multi-month or year payment distribution.

There will be naming opportunities coming soon for commitments starting at $25,000. Stay tuned to our website ( or our facebook page ( for more information.