Kean University’s new College of Business and Public Management features large, student-focused communal spaces with dramatic multi-level connections to each floor. The school provides the several thousand students with a variety of spaces to interact, collaborate, study, and relax throughout the day.
This project is featured in the Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.
Today’s students benefit from the omnipresence of technology, shared knowledge, social media networking, and communication independent from the limitations of their surroundings or backgrounds. New generation software tools offer unique and revolutionary ways to learn and interact and are disrupting traditional models of learning and pedagogy as we have all been able to observe during the covid pandemic with online-based learning platforms. Despite these changes—and under normal circumstances—business students are spending a lot of time on campus, and an overwhelming majority of their time within the business school building itself, where they congregate and interact with their fellow students. This being the case, the contemporary environment of a business school must enhance the social learning aspects in which today’s students thrive by providing increased space for collaboration, shared experiences, and support of their immediate learning communities.
Highly transparent spaces throughout the building visually connect academic departments, learning spaces, and the active communal areas that support them. The uppermost floor is dedicated to an open-plan, virtual library and learning communal space with access to planted roof terraces with panoramic views of the campus and New York City skyline in the distance.
NK Architects selected a ventilated rain screen system for its superior thermal qualities. For the exterior cladding, the design team was particularly intrigued with finding effective ways to work with Swisspearl panels to minimize the need for cutting and fitting panels in situ. Early conceptual visions for the exterior window pattern and corresponding façade design were translated to Swisspearl modular cladding for a clean exterior façade.
“They sought to balance cost with performance, striving to find a solution that was easy to install, provided an excellent building enclosure, and that looked great.”Building façade specialist, Alex Moshenberg
The dark, slightly recessed façade in the base area lets the bright building volume hover above. Linear grooving reinforces the impression, lending the anthracite-colored panels a matte restraint.
NICE TO KNOW
School of Business and Public Management,
NK Architects, Morristown, NJ, USA
2019 – 2020
PDF project sheet
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Find more stories in our Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.