Proposals Unveiled for Kent State’s new Architecture College

WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal; Courtesy University

Yesterday, the shortlisted teams for Kent State University’s new, $40 million College of Architecture and Environmental Design pitched their designs to the Kent community. From “simple and functional to splendidly provocative”, these proposals offer a range of innovative solutions that will satisfy Kent’s mission to create a modern campus that provides an outstanding academic experience and enriches the greater community of Kent, .

The four finalists, which were selected from 37 international teams, were challenged to design a 122,000 square foot, sustainable exemplar that unites Kent State’s architecture program under one roof, while inspiring interdisciplinary collaboration within flexible learning spaces along the University’s new esplanade.

Get a sneak peak of each proposal after the break.

Bialosky + Partners Architects (New York and Cleveland) in association with Architecture Research Office of New York:

Bialosky + Partners Architects proposal; Courtesy Kent State University
Bialosky + Partners Architects proposal; Courtesy Kent State University

WEISS/MANFREDI (Lead Designer) of New York in association with Richard L. Bowen + Associates (Architect of Record) of Cleveland:

WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal; Courtesy Kent State University
WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal; Courtesy Kent State University

The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo, Ohio, in association with the Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle:

The Collaborative Inc. proposal; Courtesy Kent State University
The Collaborative Inc. proposal; Courtesy Kent State University

Westlake Reed Leskosky with offices in Cleveland and four other cities:

Westlake Reed Leskosky proposal; Courtesy Kent State University
Westlake Reed Leskosky proposal; Courtesy Kent State University

Which design do you like best? Help Kent State decide by taking this poll! Also, University officials are asking the public to offer feedback on the four proposals via email at

A five-person jury will announce the winning firm in February.

The Jury:

  • Vivian Loftness, professor at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Brad Lynch, Brinistool+Lynch Architecture Design
  • Joan M. Soranno, vice president FAIA
  • Douglas Steidl, dean of Kent State’s architecture school
  • Michael Bruder, director of design and construction in Kent State’s architecture office

Story via Kent Patch 

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Proposals Unveiled for Kent State’s new Architecture College" 18 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    The Weiss/Manfredi proposal is my favourite. I like how the stepped volumes allow the studios and crit rooms to be interlinked.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    The Weiss/Manfredi scheme is amazing. It has an incredible sense of fit with the program for this architectural school, expresses a sense of being Green and Sustainable, and is quite beautiful. I believe that the “fit” of the design to the circumstances of the project is exceptional and inspiring, and therefore quite beautiful. I enjoy touring modern architectural works when I travel. I have visited two built works by Weiss/Manfredi, Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park; Women’s Memorial and Education Center at Arlington National Cemetary. These amazing projects are not only beautifully designed, but they are also incredibly well detailed and crafted. Beautiful detailing is important in any building, however it is especially important in an architectural school. It is important for the architecture students to be exposed to an exemplary design AND beautiful detailing. I highly recommend the Weiss/Manfredi design.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      Going to have to disagree, if you look at the volume of the interior and think about all of the programmatic spaces being intertwined, it would be a disaster acoustically. The library space is even open to these spaces with circulation all around.
      I can understand wanting to improve on the way spaces work, but there will be little quite spaces left which are sometimes necessary.

      Also, it has been fairly widely stated lately that an all glass building is about as non-green as you can get.
      I like their work, you forgot the Diana Center, but they don’t seem right for this project.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I do enjoy the spaces created within the Weiss/Manfredi scheme and it seems to be the most iconic of the bunch, but as a current architecture student i am skeptical of the amount of glazing that this building possesses. Yes, the transparency is quite compelling, but I question the thermal comfort of the weiss/manfredi scheme. During the warmer months it seems as though it will become a hot box and how are they going to cool this building during the winter? How are they going to shade this in order to keep glares and direct sunlight out of students immediate workspace?

    From that, i feel that the Westlake Reed Leskosky proposal is able to control and balance glazing and frame out viewpoints in and out, creating a more intimate atmosphere but at the same time engaging pedestrations visually in and out of the building. I think it has the most dynamic volumetric space of the bunch (the rendering with the trusses on the left) creating a central point for the students and faculty to come together as opposed to the stretching of stacked floorplates in the weiss manfredi scheme.

    Sustainability wise, i see potential of the materiality through thermal mass, and stack effect ventilation of the building through the volumetric spaces, and from what i see there seems to be a rain garden similar to that of sidwell friends school by kieren timberlake.

    It also feels the most grounded and anchored into the site with its use of materials and balance of glazing vs. solid
    Most importantly as a student, from a thermal comfort standpoint without sacraficing views and dynamic space, the westlake reed leskosky proposal would get my vote.

Share your thoughts