Johns Hopkins University has tapped Bjarke Ingels Group to rejuvenate its campus with the new Hopkins Student Center — nicknamed “The Village” — that will serve as a modern and welcoming social engagement hub for all in the JHU community. Selected as the winner of a months-long international design competition, BIG’s concept emphasizes indoor-outdoor connections, natural daylight and sustainable features, such as rooftop solar panels. The approximately 150,000-square-foot mass timber building will be designed in collaboration with Shepley Bulfinch and the Rockwell Group as well as Michael Van Valkenburg Associates for the landscape design.

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Located at JHU’s Homewood campus just south of the university’s iconic open space known as “The Beach” in Baltimore, Maryland, the new student center will offer a mix of spaces for relaxation and socialization, creative and performing arts (including a dedicated performance space with seating for 200 people), student resources and support services, lounges, a digital media center and a dining hall that connects directly to a new plaza on Charles Street. Conceived as a “central living room,” The Village will serve as a new entry point to the university and facilitate greater connections between the campus and the neighboring Charles Village community. 

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“This will be a new kind of space for us — one that is not academically focused, but entirely social by design, open to all, reserved for none, and boasting the kind of flexible spaces that invite connection and collaboration, this will be a place where athletes and actors, step teams and SGA members can gather side by side,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University. 

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Built with mass timber construction, The Village will feature exposed timber throughout for a warm and welcoming feel. The open-plan layout will seamlessly merge a variety of programming, ranging from dining and performance areas to lounging and socializing areas that connect with outdoor spaces, including the central plaza that can host pop-up exhibits or performances along the North Charles Street corridor. Natural light will stream through large expanses of glazing and skylights fitted between solar panels. The new Hopkins Student Center is slated to break ground in spring 2022 and is expected to be completed by fall 2024.

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Images via Bjarke Ingels Group