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Unveiled> Tinkham Veale University Center
Perkins + Will's design for Case Western Reserve University rises up out of the ground.
Courtesy Perkins + Will

Case Western Reserve University Tinkham Veale University Center
Architect: Perkins + Will
Client: Case Western Reserve University
Location: Cleveland
Completion: Fall 2014

This fall, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland should complete construction on a new university center that, from some angles, will appear to rise out of the earth.

Perkins + Will’s design for the Tinkham Veale University Center seeks to play up the “always open” aspect of the facility, reaching out with glassy entranceways in several directions from the building’s central location. As a round-the-clock gathering spot for students, the building could help give Case Western a more contemporary architectural identity.

Facets of the green roof appear from above to interlock, tucking an underground parking garage beneath a new field. The surface will help absorb rain and stormwater, while the unusual footprint reframes the adjacent campus spaces.


The 81,000-square-foot building is adjacent to the University Circle district, where ten years of development have turned parking lots into an increasingly vibrant hub of residence halls, foundations, and art institutions. The Farshid Moussavi-designed Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland has attracted the international design community’s attention, and the city’s bustling bus rapid transit system ferries locals from downtown to the Cleveland Clinic campus and points in between.

Targeting LEED silver, the university center sports a double-skin facade on its western face, which helps control solar heat gain and glare.

Chris Bentley