Spectacular New Home
The strategically sited building will serve as an icon to the dynamic changes happening all around it.
Architecture is often about building bridges and creating links — literally and metaphorically. And that’s exactly the philosophy behind the strategic location of Kent State University’s proposed College of Architecture and Environmental Design building. Slated to open in late 2015, the 125,000-square-foot building
will be built at the point that connects the university campus and the city of Kent, making a striking addition to the transformational changes that have been happening around that dynamic hub of activity.
“Given the distinguished reputation of our architecture programs, the college’s building deserves a world-class design, says President Lester A. Lefton.
Building the Future
The college’s new home is part of the university’s long-range improvement project known as Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future, which calls for construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and establishment of new spaces. The goal of this initiative is to improve the academic experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community.
As of now, the university’s signature architecture program is housed in three separate structures. The new building will unite the college under one roof and adapt to Kent State’s growing program and evolving modes of learning in architecture and design education.
The winning team is …
For the first time in its history, the university held a building design competition. More than 35 internationally recognized design firms submitted designs for the architecture building, and the winning design was chosen earlier this year. The teams of WEISS/MANFREDI of New York and Richard L. Bowen & Associates of Cleveland were selected for their “Design Loft” concept that features a continuous design studio at its heart and floor-to ceiling windows that open to the Kent State University Esplanade, the newly extended pathway that links the campus to downtown Kent.
“This selection provides the College of Architecture and Environmental Design with a striking idea about both the visual and functional aspects of our programs,” says Douglas Steidl, dean of the college. “We are excited to move on to the next level of design with a concept that will attract the best faculty and outstanding students to all of our programs. This scheme will enhance the learning experience, facilitate collaboration, and inspire those of us who are users as well as those who observe it from the community.”