FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Kent State Announces Winning Architecture Team for University’s New, $40 Million Architecture Building
After holding a competition that drew the interest of internationally recognized architects, the architecture team that will design the new $40 million building for Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design has been determined.
“I have the great pleasure to announce the winning team is WEISS/MANFREDI, lead designer, and Richard L. Bowen & Associates, architect of record, with ‘The Design Loft’ submission,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “Given the distinguished reputation of our architecture programs, the college’s building deserves a world-class design. The building will serve as a new icon as visitors approach the campus. In our selection of this team, we not only get professionals who will create a spectacular new home for our College of Architecture and Environmental Design but also partners who made us feel confident about a collaborative process that will consider the needs of this project’s many stakeholders.”
Douglas Steidl, dean of Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, said that faculty, students, administration and staff of the college are so excited to see this project move forward. "This selection provides the College of Architecture and Environmental Design with a striking idea about both the visual and functional aspects of our programs,” Steidl said. “We are excited to move on to the next level of design with a concept that will attract the best faculty and outstanding students to all of our programs. This scheme will enhance the learning experience, facilitate collaboration and inspire those of us who are users as well as those who observe it from the community.”
The new architecture building is part of the university’s campus transformation, called “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future,” which involves the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and establishment of dynamic, new spaces. The goal of this initiative is to create the most outstanding academic experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community enriched by the university.
Currently, this signature program is housed in three separate structures. The new, 120,000-square-foot building will unite the college under one roof.
“This is a building that speaks to the commitment Kent State University is making to the future of the region,” Steidl said.
The university launched the design competition in the summer of 2012 for the new architecture building that will be constructed along the south side of the Kent State University Esplanade extension near downtown Kent. Thirty-seven architecture firms applied for the design competition, the first the university has done. The field of candidates was narrowed down to eight firms in October 2012 and then to the four finalists in November. The four finalists presented their design concepts on Jan. 17, 2013. Following the presentations, the sustainability data provided by the finalists was analyzed, their cost estimates were reviewed by independent sources and the presentation materials were further evaluated by the selection committee.
Construction of the new building is anticipated to begin in spring 2014 with the goal of occupancy in December 2015.