- Project Name
- Isenberg School of Management Business Innovation Hub
- Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
- University of Massachusetts Building Authority (UMBA)
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 69,965 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
- Miabelle Salzano
- Project Status
This project has been updated with a new project description and new project credits, photographs, and drawings since its completion.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and Architect of Record Goody Clancy, the copper clad Business Innovation Hub at the heart of the University of Massachusetts Amherst adds 70,000SF of hyper-collaborative study and social space to one of the top-30 public business schools in the United States. The new expansion and partial renovation of the Isenberg School of Management nearly doubles the school’s current space to accommodate Isenberg’s growth in the last decade, while introducing new facilities for more than 150 staff and 5,000 students in undergraduate, master’s and PhD programs. BIG and Goody Clancy were commissioned in 2015 to design a flexible space that inspires and facilitates collaboration for every Isenberg student.
Prominently situated on Haigis Mall near the entrance to the campus, a dramatic triangular glass entrance created by a domino-effect greets students. The building exterior is wrapped in straight, vertical pillars that gradually slope downward, creating a distinct appearance without any curved elements. The Business Innovation Hub directly extends the school’s existing 1964 building from the north and east sides in a wide circular loop, linking back on the upper floors to maintain connectivity. The loop consolidates Isenberg’s faculty and staff under one roof, creating a singular place of arrival and a strong visual identity for the entire Isenberg School of Management.
The Business Innovation Hub’s exterior is clad in copper, so long-term exposure to the elements will naturally weather the metal from a dark ochre to an enduring patina. With longevity and sustainability in mind, the building also targets LEED Silver certification. Upon entering, students and faculty arrive at the 5,000SF Learning Commons. Daylight peers between the accordion-like pillars to illuminate the multi-story atrium, where the heart of the business school hums with students learning, networking and dining. The bright and spacious Learning Commons doubles as an event venue for guest speakers, award ceremonies, banquets and career fairs. In any room or hallway, natural light reaches inside from both the campus and the inner courtyard.
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 maneuver for theater-style lectures or small-group work. 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 Center gains 15 new interview rooms, and various conference rooms and breakout areas are distributed throughout the loop. 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.
Project: Isenberg School of Management Business Innovation Hub, Amherst, Mass.
Client: University of Massachusetts Building Authority, Amherst
Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group. Partners-in-charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen, Beat Schenk, Daniel Sundlin; project leaders: Yu Inamoto, Pauline Lavie-Luong, Hung Kai LiaoTeam: 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
Collaborators: Goody Clancy Architects, Richmond So Engineers, BIG IDEAS, Arup, Nitsch, VAV, Towers Golde, Haley & Aldrich, Acentech, HLB, SGH, PEER, WIL-SPEC, VGA, Lerch Bates, LN Consulting, Mohar Designs
ISOM's new extension aims to functions as a change agent, and to further enhance the Isenberg name among the nation's leading business schools. Characteristic architectural design, together with program innovation, assertive re-branding, and future-minded infrastructure, will be the catalyst to launch Isenberg into the next phase of growth and success.
The primary goals of the project are to consolidate departments currently located across campus, house all of ISOM in one coordinated assemblage of buildings, and to create a dynamic interior public space in the form of a Student Learning Commons. The commons are designed to accommodate the dual function of student gathering and study space as well as special event space for guest speakers, award ceremonies, and banquets. New instructional spaces include two-tired hybrid classrooms and one financial analytics classroom, set to stimulate a trading-floor environment. Sustaining ISOM's future growth also requires an expansion of spaces dedicated to specialized centers, increasing staff and support spaces, as well as adding spaces for new faculty in each of Isenberg's growing academic departments.