by Zohra KhanMar 19, 2020
Danish architectural studio Henning Larsen debuted in North America with the recent project, The Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, which is deemed to be one of the second largest universities in Ohio. Designed in collaboration with Cincinnati-based studio KZF, and British engineering firm BuroHappold, the project marks the coveted campus’ bicentennial.
The 225,000 sqft building imbibes a deep-rooted sense of communal wellness within the school through its Scandinavian-inspired approach. Located on the campus’ northeastern quadrant - amid a densely urban precinct in the north of Cincinnati, which is home to plenty of distinguished buildings - the new business school aligns with the neighbouring quad and connects it to the city's bus route. This created a porous pedestrian avenue, flowing through the built fabric that encourages students to pass through the building during campus commute.
“Universities have a great responsibility in shaping young adults, and what happens outside of the classroom is equally, if not more important, than what happens inside,” says Michael Sørensen, Partner and Head of Henning Larsen’s New York office. The design seeks to spur communal well-being in the learning environment by reflecting on the Danish concept of hygge. “It’s an idea,” as Sørensen explains, “now associated around the world with candle-light and coziness, but the essence of hygge is really about being together in comfort and happiness. The students ultimately have to find hygge for themselves, but in providing spaces for togetherness we created a framework for that kind of atmosphere.”
The architects' intent was to foster knowledge beyond the confines of the classrooms and permeate it in every nook and corner of the campus. To make this happen, enough spaces for informal meetings and chance encounters have been integrated in the layout. A full height atrium cut through the centre of the building, where large skylights filter natural daylight into the interiors and help minimise the use of artificial lighting and glare. Distorted linear shadows of these skylights cast on the atrium walls, offering an immersive nudge to the space.
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