At the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business, learning and connection spill from the classroom to the building’s every nook and cranny. The project, our first built work in North America and completed in collaboration with Cincinnati-based KZF and Buro Happold, connect classrooms to the campus and community, encouraging a social, collaborative approach to learning.
The 242,188ft2 (22,500m2) building offers 70 percent more student space than its predecessor facility, placing a spatial premium on intimate, claimable spaces beyond the bounds of the classroom. For Michael Sørensen, Partner and Head of Henning Larsen’s New York office, the building is representative of a new kind of campus architecture – one essential to its age.
“The business world puts so much emphasis on performance, but we wanted this project to really consider the people who use it and the campus it’s situated in. We started with the idea that this should be the most open and generous building at the University,” Sørensen says.
“Especially in business, where creating personal networks is so important, people don’t learn or work well if they’re feeling boxed-in and invisible. The ability to connect had to be a kind of second nature in the building. ”
Connection can only happen if people are present throughout the building, and this is facilitated in Lindner down to the detail. The broad stair that tracks through the full height atrium may be the building’s lively spine, but it’s the abundance of outlets throughout the building’s classrooms, halls, and seating areas that allows students to gather and stay.
Of particular importance is the variety of spaces the building’s users have to choose from. The gallery space at the ground level and a student café in the sunlit atrium, and open-air gardens tucked in the building’s planted green roof, the new facility focuses on a variety of space to cater to students’ tasks, needs and tastes.
The University of Cincinnati welcomes a record-breaking 46,000 students to campus this year, and as over half of surveyed American college students reported feeling overwhelmed, lonely and exhausted, the Lindner College of Business answers a need for inclusive, social campus space. With its position directly next to the central campus green, we designed the building as both a focused learning space and an inviting campus thoroughfare. Its four transparent, prismatic volumes align with the landscaped green’s existing footpaths, encouraging students to pass directly through the building during their campus commute. In doing so, the building welcomes a much broader community than business students, and the energy of student life radiates through its social and academic facilities.
“When talking about the kind of community we wanted to create in the school, we found ourselves often returning to the Danish idea of hygge,” explains Sørensen.
“It’s an idea now associated around the world with candlelight and coziness, but the essence of hygge is really about being together in comfort and happiness. By providing spaces for togetherness we created a framework for that kind of atmosphere.”
The building’s design aims to deliver both personal and environmental wellness. By orienting the glass facades and overhead skylights to maximize internal daylight, internal spaces enjoy a more natural ambiance and a lower reliance on electric lighting. The planted green roof absorbs rainwater, which evaporates as the temperature rises – Cooling the entire building through natural means. Overall, the design reduces the building’s projected annual energy costs by 24 percent compared to similar campus buildings.
The Lindner College of Business joins a campus renowned for its prestigious architectural presence, featuring projects by Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne and Bernard Tschumi. As students walk to class through a landscape defined by Pritzker Prize and Praemium Imperale- winning architects, our offers a Scandinavian approach to wellness and learning, giving sleek modern form to a space dedicated to inclusive, collaborative learning.
The University of Cincinnati Linder College of Business was completed in close collaboration with Cincinnati-based practice KZF Design, BuroHappold, Harris Architects, PEDCO, Woolpert and BCE Engineering, the Lindner College celebrates its grand opening on September 19th, coinciding with the University’s bicentennial festivities.