The Oxford Development Company team was selected to take part in the design competition phase for the construction of Kent State University’s new College of Business Administration building, part of Kent State’s $1 billion campus transformation plan.
The future 150,000 SF building will be located on Main Street and serve as an anchor in the transformation of Front Campus, which will include a signature gateway to the university, additional green spaces and a new parking deck.
The goal for the business building is to have developers propose public-private partnership plans with philanthropic components. The university estimated the cost for the building at about $72.3 million.
“Each development team brings an innovative approach and unique vision to what they see as the new home for one of the university’s cornerstone programs,” said Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Business Administration, said in a news release. “The entire Kent State community has been part of the master plan process from the beginning, so it makes sense that we would offer everyone a chance to see what kind of ideas are being considered.”
Oxford Team Presents a new Face to Campus
The team’s proposed College of Business Administration building is an ambitious gateway project defining the front Campus of Kent State University. Becoming the new face, it will welcome people and serve as an introduction to the North Campus.
The new building would include a variety of classroom and learning laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, study and gathering spaces, and common areas that will encourage greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and business leaders. The new building will model the type of learning environment that best supports Kent State students who will become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.
Studying in the Park
Oxford’s proposal becomes a new Campus Icon by honoring existing Campus qualities and providing state of the art learning environments able to attract students and researchers and retain teachers from around the world with the aim of becoming one of the Top 100 Business Schools in the world.
The main design intention of the project is to create a simple massing – a ‘drifting cloud above the green hilly landscape’ – a building ingrained in its’ place in terms of scale, materiality and story and able to express a sense of belonging from Day One.
The ground level is designed to be as open and inviting as possible and letting the surrounding hills continue under the volume as auditorium and seating steps. Café, student organizations, shops and trading floor create a lively floor extending outdoors.
Designing with Microclimate in mind
Knowing that views and access to outdoors, especially green spaces, have immense benefits on occupants’ performance, health and well-being, the new College is set to be the stage for indoor and outdoor activities all year round. The program is arranged to allow for constant views, maximum daylight and the massing creates outdoor South West facing ‘pocket plazas’ – designed specifically to extend the number of weeks students can use the outdoors as an active part of their learning environment.
A Place to Form Future Relations
As a contrast to the very open and extroverted ground level, the two upper levels host the lecture rooms and the faculty encouraging focus and oriented around the central atrium, the heart of the building. A study desk lines the edge of the atrium and seeks to activate the space and the corridors after hours.
The College is a window to the Business Community, preparing students for the business world and an intimate place for study and focus where lasting relations between people are formed.
The College of Business Administration building is being designed to LEED® v4 Silver standards for BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovation and optimized towards LEED v4 Annual Sunlight Exposure + Spatial Daylight Autonomy.