Center for Architecture and Environmental Design

Kent State University celebrated the grand opening of its much-anticipated building, the Center for Architecture and Environmental Design, on October 7, 2016. Visitors, alumni and friends from around the world toured the 110,191-square-foot contemporary glass-and-brick building, stretching along the Lefton Esplanade from Lincoln Street toward downtown Kent.

The center brings exceptional design to Kent State’s architecture, architectural studies and interior design programs, and it unites students and faculty from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design under one roof to serve as an educational model for design excellence.

The distinctive building was conceived in 2012, when the university initiated an international competition. Thirty-seven highly accomplished design teams submitted their qualifications and proposals. After more than a yearlong process, internationally renowned New York-based firm WEISS/MANFREDI was named as the lead designer, Richard L. Bowen & Associates as the architect of record and Gilbane Building Company as the construction manager.

The center holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it one of the largest buildings in Ohio to reach this high standard. Some of the features include a partial green roof to capture and recycle rain water, 131 geothermal wells (each 405-feet deep) to provide an efficient heating and cooling source for the building and glass curtain walls designed to optimize daylight while reducing the need for artificial light.

The exterior contains 91,000 custom bricks produced by Ohio’s Belden Brick Company that brings together colors exemplifying the strong and continuously growing relationship between the university and downtown Kent.

Inside, the new center contains a cascading studio loft that promotes interdisciplinary engagement and peer-to-peer learning. A digital fabrication laboratory, lighting lab, specialized research labs, maker spaces and a material’s library provide the infrastructure needed for tomorrow’s designers. The linear, transparent, ground-floor lobby features a café, gallery, lecture hall and library reading room.

Our thanks to the generous donors who helped make the Center for Architecture and Environmental Design a reality:

M. Craig Allen ’80 and Thomas M. Teti ‘80, Image Associates
M. Craig Allen and Thomas M. Teti Critique Space
Lawrence R. and Sandra C. Armstrong
Lawrence R. and Sandra C. Armstrong Gallery
Belden Brick Company Charitable Trust
Belden Brick Materials Library
Bialosky + Partners Architects
Bialosky + Partners Architects Seminar Room
Richard L. Bowen & Associates
Richard L. Bowen & Associates Grand Staircase
Ron and Joan Burbick
Ron and Joan Burbick Lobby
Burbick Plaza
Bob and Joyce Cene
Bob and Joyce Cene Lecture Hall
John and Fonda Elliot and the Elliot Family Foundation
Elliot Studios for Design
Barry and Jo Ann Fetterman
Barry and Jo Ann Fetterman Seminar Room
Karpinski Engineering
Karpinski Engineering Critique Space
Nora Klebow
Nora Klebow Studio
Douglas and Sandra McNeill
McNeill Conference Room
George T. Simon
George T. Simon III Cafe
Douglas L. and Susan R. Steidl
Douglas L. and Susan R. Steidl Faculty Lounge