As buzz builds for Kent State University’s “Design Loft,” a new home for one of Ohio’s four architecture schools, lead architects Weiss/Mandredi Thursday announced project updates.
The building will now now be composed of four tiered floors instead of five, trimming the overall area from 124,000 square feet to roughly 107,000 square feet.
“The changes have been made in the name of efficiency and cost-effectiveness,” according to Kent’s Record-Courier, who reported that most of the area cut consisted of “non-essential corridors.”
The new building is to be located along the Lester A. Lefton Esplanade between South Lincoln and Willow streets. It would bring together the University’s fragmented design programs together under one roof. They currently occupy three separate structures, including Taylor Hall — a gathering spot for the 1970 Vietnam War protests in which the Ohio National Guard shot 13 unarmed students.
The new building — a procession of stepped, transparent boxes — is meant to encourage interaction among students, and lessen the town-gown divide. “The building will physically and metaphorically represent the connection between the city of Kent and the university campus,” read a Kent State University press release.
Richard L. Bowen & Associates is the architect of record. Construction is expected to begin by fall of this year.