Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in collaboration with Architect of Record Goody Clancy has finished an extension to the Isenberg School of Management at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. First unveiled in 2016, the new business innovation hub adds 70000 square feet (6,500 SqM) to the University’s business school.
The new structure — the ‘business innovation hub’ doubles the existing area of the building from the north and east sides in a wide circular loop and consolidates more than 150 staff and 5,000 students in undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD programs under one roof.
Prominently situated near the entrance to the campus, the building is wrapped in straight, vertical pillars that gradually slope downward. This domino-effect creates a triangular glass entrance that greets staff, students, and visitors.
The dynamic appearance of the building allows natural light to enter without overheating the building. However, the long-time exposure of the copper exterior of the building will naturally weather the metal from dark ochre to an enduring patina.
Designers have taken the utmost care of the students’ needs while designing the space. Upon entering, students and faculty arrive at the 5,000 square feet ‘learning commons’ where daylight illuminates the multi-story atrium.
This space, where students are able to learn, network, or relax, can also serve as an event venue for guest speakers, award ceremonies, banquets, and career fairs. Natural light easily reaches almost all the rooms from both the campus and internal garden.
The building also aims LEED Silver certification because of its sustainability and longevity factors.
Throughout the scheme, spaces have been designed with student interaction in mind: chairs adorn the corridors, while benches are affixed to the stairway. On the second and third floors, students and staff occupy the innovation labs, advising spaces, and faculty offices.
To support the career development of every Isenberg student, classrooms are equipped with integrated technology for distance learning. In addition, the Chase Career Centre gains 15 new interview rooms, and various conference rooms and breakout areas are distributed throughout the loop.
“Throughout the Business Innovation Hub, spaces are designed with student interactions, teamwork and chance encounters in mind: soft chairs adorn the corridors, benches are affixed to the grand stairway and classroom chairs can easily manoeuvre for theatre-style lectures or small-group work. On the second and third floors, students and staff occupy the innovation labs, advising spaces and faculty offices.” said Bjarke Ingels
The inner spaces of the extension face a circular courtyard, where an open-air garden and stone benches create an oasis for collaboration and contemplation. The courtyard connects back to the campus via two pathways between the original Isenberg building and the Business Innovation Hub.
The buildings are fused by two bridges above the paths: the large bridge cloaked in copper becomes the gateway to the courtyard while the small bridge glazed with glass forms a visual continuity around the interior courtyard.
In the evening, the Business Innovation Hub glows from the life within—appearing as an inviting beacon on the campus and creating a lasting impression for campus visitors, staff and students.
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen, Beat Schenk, Daniel Sundlin
Project Leaders: Yu Inamoto, Pauline Lavie-Luong, Hung Kai Liao
Team: Alice Cladet, Amina Blacksher, Barbara Stallone, Cheyenne Vandevoorde, Daniel Kidd, Davide Maggio, Deborah Campbell, Denys Kozak, Derek Wong, Domenic Schmid, Douglass Alligood, Elena Bresciani, Emily Mohr, Fabian Lorenz, Francesca Portesine, Ibrahim Salman, Jan Leenknegt, Justyna Mydlak, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Ku Hun Chung, Linda Halim, Lucas Hong, Manon Otto, Maria Eugenia Dominguez, Mustafa Khan, Nicolas Gustin, Pei Pei Yang, Peter Lee, Seoyoung Shin, Simon Lee, Terrence Chew, Tianqi Zhang, Yixin Li
BIG Ideas: Tore Banke, Yehezkiel Wiliardy, Kristoffer Negendahl
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