Kent State University just picked Weiss/Manfredi as the winner of a design competition to build the University's new architecture building. The architects' proposal for the center is a transparent terraced building that is topped with a green roof. Sited at the crossroads between the city and the campus, the Design Loft is a gallery of ascending spaces that seamlessly connect studios, classrooms, meeting areas and critique areas, and it can evolve as modalities of education and design change over the years.
Weiss/Manfredi was one of four firms competing an an international design competition to build the coveted architecture school building. Beating out 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, New York-based Weiss/Manfredi was selected because their design was striking, innovative and achieved a high level of sustainability. You can read more about the other designs at Cleveland.com. The Design Loft will bring together all the architecture facilities and classrooms from three separate buildings, including Taylor Hall, which served as the backdrop for the May 4, 1970 National Guard shootings of anti-war protestors, into this one cohesive project.
The Design Loft is based upon the idea of a continuous studio loft that winds through a series of tiered spaces. The lower end engages the scale of the city and connects with a broad park. Rising up towards the school, the building’s massing and materials resembles that of the surrounding campus. A continuous staircase on the north facade serves a dual purpose as an amphitheater, opens to generous and even northern light and connects to the open critique spaces, which encourages impromptu discussions.
Topped off with an accessible and open green roof, the building also takes advantage of light through clerestory windows. Overall the project works to maximize natural daylight and minimize overall energy use. According to A|N Blog, the design team is also investigating shading alternatives for their tiered glass box design. Weiss/Manfredi will be working with local firm, Richard L. Bowen & Associates.
Via A|N Blog