Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Morgan's new flagship building - the Graves School of Business by KPF

The college building boom continues unabated and what better example than Morgan State University's (MSU) rapid campus expansion and its latest building, the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management? It not only jumps across a major artery (Hillen Road) that used to confine the campus, it also jumps in scale and ambition beyond anything the school had built before. With $80 million cost it is smaller than  the Peter Angelos law school of UB but certainly as ambitious.
The new business school is the lone outpost west of Hillen Road (#53 on the map)

The 138,000 GSF building provides space for the school’s seven academic departments (Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, Marketing, Management, Information Science and Systems, and Hospitality Management), outreach centers (Entrepreneurial Assistance & Development Center, and Center for Entrepreneurship and Strategy) and the school’s two new programs (Project Management and Entrepreneurship). (KPF website)

While there are details to quibble about, most notably the facades (materials, proportions) and the shed-like cheap upper level metal cladding as well as a lack of precision in the execution of the ambitious details on the inside, Kohn Pederson Fox, a world renowned firm with a stellar reputation, has delivered an instantly memorable icon that surpasses anything else the Morgan campus has to offer, including the new and also not shabby architecture and engineering building. Ayers Saint Gross is the local partner firm.

In keeping with many new campus buildings such as the UB law school and the Coppin school of health, KPF devoted much space to impressive and soaring internal volumes without much function other than creating a strong "commons". Maybe involuntarily commenting on current economic affairs, a floating contraption hovering ominously like a spaceship above the commons houses the business schools mock trading floor. Here, like in the New York stock exchange, derivatives and stocks reign the world via giant screens and ticker lines with a clear view into the gathering space below and all the glazed team and group meeting spaces.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

See below virtual tour. The school opened for students at the begin of this semester. Final construction is still in progress, especially site work.

The stilted proportions and the vertical slot windows take getting used to on the southwest (the plaza is still under construction (photo: ArchPlan)

and the southeast (photo: ArchPlan)

Not visible here: the top level is painted currogated steel (photo: ArchPlan)

the building has two entrances, the southern one under this arcade (photo: ArchPlan)

The trademark south pointed corner (photo: ArchPlan)

the hovering starship above the commons is the trading floor (photo: ArchPlan)

the hovering starship above the commons is the trading floor (photo: ArchPlan)
The trading floor in the space capsule is not yet ready for use (photo: ArchPlan) 

View from the "trading floor" (photo: ArchPlan) 

A well equipped auditorium is part of the program (photo: ArchPlan)

The building is applying for LEED gold (photo: ArchPlan) 

the south-east stairway overlooking Hillen Road (photo: ArchPlan)

Plenty of glazed small group rooms allow for collaboration (photo: ArchPlan)

this corner looked most dramatic when the building had just been framed (photo: ArchPlan)

the next project already broke ground: The Jenkins Behavioral Science Building by HOK with  Cho Benn Holback
(photo: ArchPlan)

1 comment:

  1. Klaus, the UB Law School cost was 114.3 million and 192,000 gsf. This building is 80 million and 138,000 gsf. Almost equivalent on a gsf basis.