The St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently recognized the University of Southern Indiana Business and Engineering Center in its annual Design Awards competition. The project received a Merit Award in the Architectural Category and was one of four built projects honored this year. The awards were presented on September 20 in a ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri.
Mark Rozewski, vice president for Finance and Administration, attended the ceremony.
The Business and Engineering Center was featured on the cover of a special section of the St. Louis Business Journal anouncing the AIA Design Awards.
Designed by HOK of St. Louis, the Business and Engineering Center unites the University’s business and engineering programs. The 122,500-square-foot facility brings together faculty and students from the College of Business and the Pott College of Science and Engineering. Hafer Associates of Evansville served as architect-of-record.
The building dedicates space to both programs but is designed to facilitate an interdisciplinary curriculum. The central atrium serves as a communal room with a tiered amphitheater, collaborative areas, and small quiet spaces.
“While each discipline has its own focused space, we’ve created shared spaces within a common atrium to encourage engagement among students of both colleges,” said Jeff Ryan, project designer and HOK vice president.
Specialized spaces for the business curriculum include a set of sales learning suites; several learning labs for decision support/negotiations, project management, web development, computer hardware/software, and entrepreneurship; a stock market simulation room; and several lecture halls.
Engineering-specific spaces include labs for environmental engineering, vibrations study, computer-aided drawing, biomechanics, fluid mechanics, heat/thermodynamics, communications, digital systems, optics/modern physics, power and machines, surveying and materials testing; a design center; and a dedicated rooftop antennae space for communications experiments.
The building design visually connects to the campus through a window wall in the atrium that offers a panoramic view of Reflection Lake and surrounding woodlands. A monumental stair activates the atrium and sustains the visual connections as it reaches the upper levels, which includes a 52-seat board room, a lake-view study lounge and a balcony.