Beautiful blend for business school

Thursday 27 Aug 2009

Tradesmanship honoured at Georgetown's new Business School building

The $83.5 million Rafik B. Hariri Building, which opened this summer as the new home of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, has caused a stir by receiving several awards at the Washington Business Congress Craftsmanship Award.

Located on the Georgetown University campus in Washington D.C., the 179,000 sq ft Rafik B. Hariri Building comprises 15 classrooms, 34 breakout rooms, 15 conference rooms, 11 interview rooms, a 400-seat auditorium, two large lounges, and 120 faculty offices. Student space is replete with data ports, flat-screen monitors, and videoconferencing capabilities, allowing for global connectivity.

The abundant aesthetics of the building include a blend of stone masonry and steel on the south elevation reminiscent of the university’s original architecture combined with a panoramic glass pavilion on the east elevation. Together these designs symbolize the mix of traditional business foundations and forethought to symbolise the ethos of the school. A soaring glass atrium serves as the core new building, providing literal transparency of students’ education—putting business on display.

“This building is both beautiful and functional. It provides great learning and teaching spaces for students and faculty and will allow us to connect better with external communities,” said George Daly, dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Daly and his executive team worked closely with Boston-based architectural firm Goody Clancy and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company to create an environmentally friendly building, employing the use of an efficient lighting system expected to provide 15 percent in energy savings, water-efficient plumbing and landscaping, and recycled materials from local companies. The school plans to apply for LEED certification this fall.

“The fresh design of the Rafik B. Hariri Building is uniquely distinguishable from all other business school buildings,” said Rob Chandler, principal at Goody Clancy. “Subtle reminders such as the etched and carved road map of the capital city riddled throughout the architecture make it distinctly Washington, D.C. – distinctly Georgetown.”

At the Washington Business Congress Craftsmanship Awards the building was honoured for its slate and copper roofing, exterior stone masonry work, and glass fiber reinforced gypsum panels present in the building’s curved light coves, rotunda’s dome ceiling, and V-shaped panels in the auditorium ceiling.

“Whiting-Turner is honoured to have worked with Georgetown University and a talented team of designers and contractors on this special project,” said K.C. Haile, vice president at Whiting-Turner. “We value our long-standing partnership with Georgetown and particularly enjoyed the team atmosphere that led to the successful completion of this complicated project. We are proud of the craftsmanship awards we have won and look forward to winning more for this beautiful new building.”

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