The design of this new academic building provides a diverse collection of 21st century active learning classrooms that allow the university to use the new building as a "pedagogical incubator," to inform other classroom improvements across campus and host professional development for faculty. The common spaces feature a wide assortment of casual study spaces that encourage students to stay on campus longer, directly benefiting student success. It also encourages both social interaction and moments of reflection. Altogether, the building includes classrooms, offices, and a 500-seat auditorium; and forms an essential gateway to the university by engaging existing campus icons and connecting major green spaces.
Spatially, the building helps form a new campus quad and incorporates a central learning commons at its heart. Designed views of the campus bell tower respect both the history and culture of the existing community while classrooms are designed to be flexible, adaptable, and multi-functioning, demonstrating a progressive institution. Break-out spaces, benches, and booth seating provide nodes for study while promoting the core values of a traditional Jesuit community.
Overall, the building is a contemporary addition to a traditional limestone campus. Materials include limestone and blonde brick gently articulating academic and office zones on the exterior and respecting adjacent buildings. And the geometry of the building folds in such a way that it yields to the campus entry to welcome visitors into campus while also preserving views to the central campanile.
Kansas City Business Journal, Capstone Award, 2016
Aaron Dougherty, Photography