Arizona State University expands to downtown Phoenix with new School of Journalism
This new six-storey, 225,000 sq ft school opened its doors in August 2008. It has become an integral part of the fabric of ASU’s energising downtown campus and a harbinger of Phoenix’s redevelopment. Ground floor retail spaces and ample shaded arcades foster outdoor seating and café life while the main entrance is under a three-storey high 'front porch' facing a green civic space, cultivating a sense of community connectivity. In addition, many of the School of Journalism’s functions on upper levels are orientated toward and have open terraces overlooking Central Avenue, allowing the students and faculty to consistently be part of the bustle of downtown.
As truth and honesty are guiding principles to journalism, so they are to the design of the building. The architecture is specifically expressive of function and materiality. The design is based on an economical 30-foot square exposed structural concrete column grid with post-tensioned concrete floor slabs. The exterior is clad with glass, masonry and multi-colored metal panels - the pattern of the panels is inspired by U.S. broadcast frequency spectrum allocations. Satellite dishes for transmission are housed on the roof; they are specifically not screened and directly express the building’s function as one of communication. The composition is kinetic and dynamic; symbolic of journalism and media’s role in our society.
The Cronkite School occupies all of the second and third floors and a portion of the fourth and sixth floors. The airy, multi-tiered First Amendment Forum is the heart of the school. By day, students gather spontaneously between classes, and in the evenings, the grand hall transforms into a public forum where students and industry leaders discuss the most critical issues facing today’s news media. Half of the sixth floor has been custom tailored for the Cronkite News Watch.
This project is a collaboration between Ehrlich Architects and HDR Architecture,Inc