The purpose of creating a new business school for the University was to create a state-of-the-art facility that elevates traditional programs, like the Executive MBA, while inspiring a new cohort of students interested in programs such as Entrepreneurship. To support this, the building was intentionally sited away from campus and situates students adjacent to a vibrant business district to generate relationships with local business leaders. Program elements, like a rentable auditorium, pre-function atrium, and event terrace overlooking the downtown, invite corporations to use the building as their own and further solidify their partnership with the college. While the building is connected to campus via transit, an important goal was to inspire a sense of belonging to both the college itself and the University as a whole. Branded collaborative hang-out spaces were designed and deployed throughout the plan to provide fun, innovative spaces for students to study, socialize, and work between classes. Transparency, connectivity, and flexibility shaped the school’s design. Reconfigurable classrooms and pop-up spaces are enclosed by a glass façade along the outside of the perimeter — providing passersby views of students in action throughout the day and glowing as a beacon of entrepreneurship and higher learning at night. Early project research found that classrooms are much more highly used in the afternoon and evening hours and that offices are rarely used after 5 pm, so placing active classrooms in a glowing facade at night matches the lively activities of the surrounding entertainment district. The design establishes an external and internal face to the building. All classrooms are oriented externally to face the city and street edges, while faculty and administration offices are oriented inward toward a secluded natural courtyard. This strategy allows the public to see education on display, while students gaze upon the results of entrepreneurial efforts in the form of new construction outside their windows, and faculty enjoy insulation from the visual and acoustic noise of the city.
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