The top tier

Friday 26 Feb 2010

New and expanded business school for top university

KPF provided master planning and full architectural services for the renovation and expansion of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Housing the undergraduate and graduate programs, the project increases the size of the complex to 280,000 sq ft. Following completion of the master plan study to assess existing building capabilities and to determine whether the building should be renovated and rehabilitated or demolished and reconstructed, KPF developed a design that creates a physical centre of gravity for the school’s intellectual and social life that allows for formal and informal interaction between students, faculty, and the surrounding community.

Essential to the success of the design of the new building was relating the typical tiered classroom to group study spaces. To do so, the design team developed a model for early site planning studies to address the pedagogical needs of the school, which focused on assessing the capacity of existing buildings to accommodate new teaching spaces. Equally important was a sense of local identity, both for the building on the university campus and for distinct groups within the school. Respect for the language and history of nearby buildings on campus had to be balanced with the goal of projecting a forward-looking image for the school.

New and reconfigured program spaces include a stunning central Winter Garden; 500-seat auditorium; 12 tiered-classrooms with 85+ seats, six flexible classrooms and 24 group study rooms; colloquium and boardroom, faculty lounge, Dean’s suite, 200 faculty offices and 100 graduate assistant offices; fitness centre; café and student lounge/study spaces.Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, sustainable design features include three green roofs with drip irrigation, underfloor air system, energy efficient lighting design, low consumption plumbing fixtures and on-site water retention/reuse, and the use of recycled content and locally manufactured construction materials to the maximum extent possible.

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