The Knowlton Center at Baldwin Wallace University is the first new academic building on campus in more than half a century. Consisting of state-of-the-art STEM collaboration spaces, the building brings together BW’s Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Physics departments.
At roughly 55,000 GSF over two levels, the Knowlton Center is organized in a traditional four-square grid. Program is set within the four quadrants of the grid, with primary circulation along a central North / South axis and central East / West axis. At the centroid of these two circulation paths sits the two primary vertical circulation elements: the Forum Stair, which is the heart of the building where departments and students can gather for college-wide lectures and events; and the elevator, which is wrapped in CNC’d slats salvaged from over thirty specimen trees located on site.
Cross-disciplinary collaboration and transparency were two of the major concept drivers for the planning and design of the project. The University needed spaces responsive to these two concepts, which were already occurring across campus within BW’s teaching and learning pedagogies. Faculty offices for the four departments are grouped and then randomly dispersed in the second-floor northwest quadrant in order to create opportunities for chance meetings and set the seeds for future collaboration opportunities. Student study or “huddle” spaces are dispersed throughout the building in various forms to allow for flexibility with size of groups, digital and analogue technology choices and level of privacy desired. Glass walls feature prominently within the interiors to provide line of sight to, from and between spaces to further the concept of transparent learning.
Capping the north end of the north quad of campus, the architecture for the Knowlton Center is intentional in its respect and reflection of the surrounding campus context. Georgian Style proportions within locally sourced Berea Sandstone and brick facades set a strong datum against which more modern expanses of glazing and taught detailing allow the building to feel fresh, yet also as if it was always part of the Baldwin Wallace campus.
Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: Berea Sandstone + Glen Gary Allington Modular Brick
2. Flooring: Polished Concrete + Interface Carpet (various product lines and colors)
3. Doors: Wood Veneer Doors by VT Industries
4. Windows: Kawneer Storefront + Curtainwall Systems
5. Roofing: Carlisle Sure-Flex PVC Roofing
6. Interior lighting: Lighting Submittal
7. Interior furniture: Brand By Owner (Ohio Desk)