Out of 37 international teams, 4 selected proposals by national teams have been unveiled by Kent University, Ohio. Under the university transformation program, “Foundations Of excellence” a 122000 square foot architectural college building as an addition to the Kent university campus is proposed.

Courtesy WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal, Kent State University

Courtesy WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal, Kent State University

It seeks to create a dynamic new space and building which also enriches the urban context of Kent and acts as a built interface for the community.  The brief called out for a sustainable campus, with possibility of achieving net zero energy under $40 m. The location is at the edge of the esplanade also makes it an important landmark for the community to look up to.

 Courtesy of Bialosky + Partners Architects proposal, Kent State University

Courtesy of Bialosky + Partners Architects proposal, Kent State University

The final four being:

Bialosky + Partners Architects (NY and Cleveland), in association with Architecture Research Office (NY)

Richard L. Bowen + Associates Inc. (Cleveland), in association with Weiss/Manfredi (NY)

The Collaborative Inc. (Toledo, Ohio), in association with the Miller Hull Partnership (Seattle)

Westlake Reed Leskosky (Cleveland, Phoenix, Washington, NY and LA)

Courtesy WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal, Kent State University

Courtesy WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism proposal, Kent State University

All four proposals seek to enhance meeting spaces and informal learning, from strong visual statements to highly contextual designs, all were present. Being an architectural college the biggest challenge perceived was to integrate flexibility in terms of multi-disciplinary learning and innovative use of space.

Courtesy of Westlake Reed Leskosky proposal,  Kent State University

Courtesy of Westlake Reed Leskosky proposal, Kent State University

A well designed college building can also be a valuable lesson in space for students. Paraphrasing Douglas Steidl, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State, the focus is on the future with a building not only respects the built environment and natural systems but also serves the future students, faculty and community for decades to come.

By Akansha Gupta

Courtesy of  Kent State’s new Architecture College

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