Architects are working to finalize the designs for the School of Continuing Studies’ new downtown campus, which is slated to open at some point during the 2013-2014 school year.
Representatives of the SCS and STUDIOS Architecture, the firm designing the building, spoke enthusiastically about plans for the new facility at a tour of the construction site given Wednesday evening.
“This new space will be a bold statement: elegant, sophisticated, modern,” said Laurie McMahon, a managing director at commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley. The firm is representing the university in the SCS project.
The building will consist of a four-story atrium surrounded by 34 classrooms, office space for about 120 people, a contemplative space, lounges for faculty and students and one larger lecture hall, according to SCS Assistant Dean of Planning Kristen Consolo. She added that approximately 1,100 degree-seeking students and more than 2,000 non-degree students will take classes on the new campus.
According to Rodrigo Letonja, one of the architects who is working on the building’s design, the space is organized to be animated and attention grabbing.
“It’ll be this shape that undulates, that creases and folds and changes, and then the classrooms around it,” he said. “We really want the architecture to be interesting.”
According to planners, the facility was also designed with accessibility and energy efficiency in mind. Every level of the building will be reachable by wheelchair, and the architects aim for the building to qualify for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification, the third-highest rating of eco-friendliness in architecture.
Demolition of the site’s previously existing structures is due to start next Monday, and the final designs for construction will be submitted for review in September, according to Consolo.