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Proposals for new Kent State Architecture Building to be Presented Thursday

Four firms in running to design new building on Esplanade

The four finalists in the competition to design the new building for Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design will present their design concepts at a public presentation Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place on campus in the University Auditorium in Cartwright Hall, located at 650 Hilltop Drive in Kent.

“Students, faculty, staff, alumni, Kent community members, professionals in architecture, interior design and other design professions, or those who have an interest in those areas, as well as the general public, are all invited to get a first look at what these world-class firms have developed for our new architecture building,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “This is an exciting time for Kent State as we transform our campus with new buildings and renovations and serve as a partner in the redevelopment of downtown Kent.”

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.

The estimated cost of the new architecture building is $40 million. Currently, Kent State’s architecture program is housed in three separate structures. The new building will unite the college under one roof, and its new home will be located between Lincoln Street and Haymaker Parkway on the Kent State University Esplanade, a pedestrian walkway through campus that is currently being extended into downtown Kent, Ohio.

The four finalists who will present on Jan. 17 are:

  • Bialosky + Partners Architects, with offices in New York and Cleveland, in association with Architecture Research Office of New York
  • Richard L. Bowen + Associates Inc. of Cleveland in association with Weiss/Manfredi of New York
  • The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo, Ohio, in association with the Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle
  • Westlake Reed Leskosky, with offices in Cleveland and four other cities

The evening informational forum is an abbreviated presentation to the public of what the four finalists are presenting to the selection committee earlier that same day. The formal presentations to the selection committee will include design concepts, sustainability data and a cost estimate.

“It will be tremendously exciting to see how the four architecture firms conceptualize our college’s new home,” said Doug Steidl, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State. “During the two-month period between when the firms were notified that they were finalists and the Jan. 17 presentations, the four firms had opportunities to gather input from our students, faculty and staff members through web surveys, interviews and informal conversation sessions. The open dialogue sessions offered valuable insight as to what our constituencies need and want in a new building, so I’m anxious to see what the finalists have come up with to meet those requirements and requests.”

Those who are interested in seeing the proposed building designs and hearing from the architecture teams can attend the event in the University Auditorium, watch it live online via webcast or see the presentations later at their convenience.

“For those unable to attend or make it to the University Auditorium, we have arranged to have a live webstream of the event as well as an archived recording so people can watch it online at their leisure,” said Michael Bruder, director of design and construction at Kent State’s Office of the University Architect. “We know this design competition is of great interest to many.”

Following the Jan. 17 presentations, the sustainability data provided by the finalists will be analyzed and their cost estimates will be reviewed by independent sources while the presentation materials are further evaluated by the selection committee to determine the winning design scheme.

The winner of the competition is expected to be announced in February 2013.

To watch the live webstream of the four finalists’ presentations on Jan. 17 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m., go to https://ksutube.kent.edu/watchlive.php?playthis=5049.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visit www.kent.edu/caed.

For more information about Kent State’s campus transformation called “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” and the design competition for the new architecture building, visit www.kent.edu/foundations.

gert bulman January 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM
With all the land Kent State has in the other direction, why are they moving into our neighborhoods?

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