Marking the end of a design competition for the new home of its College of Architecture & Environmental Design, Kent State University has chosen Weiss/Manfredi’s “Design Loft” over submissions from Bialosky & Partners of Cleveland with Architecture Research Office of New York; The Collaborative of Toledo with Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle; and Westlake Reed Leskosky of Cleveland. The college is moving from three separate buildings including Taylor Hall, where it has been for decades, and which served as a gathering spot for the 1970 Vietnam War protest that would end in four deaths. Kent State University has one of Ohio’s four architecture schools, and the site of its new home is intended to engage the greater community of Kent. During a public forum at KSU in January, Michael Manfredi called the design “a three-dimensional diorama,” connecting studio life to the outside at all times with continuous sightlines from one studio to the next. “The idea is that there really is no such thing as a circulation space, but always a place of interaction,” Marion Weiss said. The team said they were investigating adjustable shading controls for the stepped glass box design. Richard L. Bowen & Associates of Cleveland will be the architect of record.
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Studio Gang, which recently kicked off the first solo exhibition of their work at the Art Institute of Chicago, will celebrate another opening event next month: the architects’ Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will ceremoniously break ground October 9. Gently curving wood walls demarcate a 10,000-square-foot space for social justice leadership development in the woods. The structure uses local white cedar, engaging its environment while transparent façade elements honor the building’s goal to facilitate conversation. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the project will source sustainably harvested wood for its low-impact, highly insulating structure. A curvilinear floor plan funnels activity from the building’s three wings into a communal meeting space. Though the corridors grow out from the central area and allow for separate functions in the institutional building, large windows at each terminus accentuate a feeling of interconnection with generous sightlines.
The Illinois Institute of Technology announced last week that they will break ground next year on a 5-story “innovation center” at the university’s Bronzeville campus in Chicago. The new 100,000-square-foot building will overlook the Dan Ryan Expressway and will house academic classrooms as well as resources for entrepreneurs. “It will combine the power of higher education,” said IIT President John Anderson, “with Chicago-style imagination, determination and boldness to fuel innovation.” The center will house IIT’s Interprofessional Projects Program as well as high-tech workshops and computer labs. IIT will also provide space for companies at University Technology Park. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was present for the announcement, eager to tout Chicago’s growing business community. City support will provide cost savings that Anderson said will translate into twice as many Chicago Public Schools students in its summer programs for high school students.