UC Lindner College of Business Atrium

Creating Places that Inspire and Engage Students

If These Walls Could Talk: Creating Places that Inspire and Engage Students

The University of Cincinnati is celebrating the opening of the new Lindner College of Business building for the 2019 fall semester as they welcome first–ever classes to this new state-of-the-art business school facility.

The Fall Semester of 2019 is a historically significant time for the University of Cincinnati. As the school celebrates its landmark 200th anniversary, the opening of the new Lindner College of Business building adds to the momentous nature of the time, welcoming the first classes to take place in the cutting-edge facility. KZF Design served as Architect of Record and Interior Designer for this new campus icon, completed in collaboration with the international Design Architect firm Henning Larsen of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is Henning Larsen’s first project in North America.  

The new, 225,000 SF building is located within the heart of the university. Its unique design focuses on fostering collaboration, inspiration, flexibility, and sustainability. The relationship between the building’s structure and layout, and the open, daylit interior promotes human interaction, adapts to changing pedagogy, and sparks enquiry. The design is a response to the concept that physical surroundings are not a thing apart from academic achievement; the two are inextricably intertwined.

Continual record-setting enrolment in the Lindner College of Business created the need for a new, larger (the new facility offers 70% more student space than the former LCOB building) home for the college, one which represented the college’s rising national and international profile as well as its vision of the future of business education. “This stunning addition to our campus transforms what we are able to offer our students, faculty, alumni, and business partners,” says Dean Marianne Lewis. “Our faculty and staff are always exploring ways to reinvent the student experience, and I’m excited to see how they will take advantage of the numerous opportunities Lindner’s new home unlocks.”

“We wanted the college to be not an object on the campus, but an extension of it,” explains Michael Sørensen, Partner and Head of Henning Larsen’s New York office. “Especially in business, where creating personal networks is so important, people can’t learn or work well if they feel boxed-in and invisible. The ability to connect had to be a kind of second nature in the building- it came from a motivation for the college to be the most open building on campus.”

The building includes five research labs, a 235-seat lecture hall that includes staggered seating to promote group work, numerous areas for student seating in common spaces as well as “huddle” or private meeting rooms, and cutting-edge IT infrastructure throughout. The student-centric Kautz Family “Attic” space crowns the building on the fourth floor, a space which exists to spark creative thinking on entrepreneurship and innovative collaboration. Additionally, an outlet for charging devices is never far away.

The most distinctive aspect of the structure is the full height atrium in the center of the building, with skylights and the interior use of glass flooding the interior with natural light in almost every corner.

Interior outdoor courtyards provide seating and gardens allowing for a chance to commune with nature, hold an outdoor meeting, or enjoy lunch. Sustainable strategies and materials are employed throughout, from lighting and motion sensors in the rooms all the way to the “green” vegetated roof.

The new Lindner College of Business is a significant addition to a campus landscape already well established as a “who’s who” style guide to contemporary American architecture. KZF Design is proud to have also been a part of such campus landmark projects such as the Campus Recreation Center (Thom Mayne, Morphosis), the Frank Graves-designed Engineering Research Center, Campus Green, and Turner & Schneider Residence Halls. All are ground-breaking designs which contributed greatly to Forbes Magazine placing the University of Cincinnati among the world’s “most beautiful college campuses.”

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