Double-height studios bring art and architecture students together in the new college of architecture at Clemson University, South Carolina, by New York office Thomas Phifer and Partners (+ slideshow).
Lee Hall College of Architecture accommodates students from 12 different degree programmes across the departments of art, architecture, construction science and landscape architecture at Clemson University.
Thomas Phifer and Partners designed the building as a place where students on different courses can see into each other's studios and share some of their workspaces, intended to increase "cross pollination" between disciplines.
"The process of making this work is such a celebratory testament to the collaborative spirit in architecture," said Thomas Phifer. "These are the very principles that form the foundation for interdisciplinary learning at Lee Hall."
Rooms on the ground floor feature glazed partitions to afford views from one area of the building to another. A sequence of first floor mezzanines are suspended above, where students and tutors can observe the activities below, plus more glazed studios are sandwiched between.
Huge doughnut-shaped skylights direct natural light into the double-height spaces, while glazed elevations to the north and south offer views out across the campus.
A terrace is positioned to the north of the building to provide a place where students can build large-scale models.
Lee Hall was one of 28 projects to receive an Institute Honor Award from the AIA earlier this year. Other projects recognised included another university building designed by OMA and a mile-long urban park by BIG. See all 28 winners of the Institute Honor Awards.
Other university buildings to complete in recent years include the factory-like Dyson Building at the Royal College of Art in London and the X-shaped scientific research centre at the Australian National University in Canberra. See more universities on Dezeen.
Photography is by Scott Frances.
Here's some more inforamtion from the Thomas Phifer and Partners:
Clemson University, Lee Hall College of Architecture
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in upstate South Carolina, the addition to the Lee Hall College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University is carefully sited adjacent to a green belt of open spaces that runs through the center of campus.
Above: ground floor plan - click for larger image
An ultra-energy efficient building, the 55,000 sf addition was conceived to accommodate the expanding needs of the college which includes 12 professional degree programs in the 4 departments of Art, Architecture, Construction Science + Management, and Planning + Landscape Architecture.
We discovered early in the design process that all programs form a close community with a rich culture of collaboration. To cultivate this sense of community within the new addition, program elements are intermingled to generate an environment for "cross pollination" between programs and disciplines through adjacency, allowing students to learn from other students and faculty though informal creative exchanges.
Proximity and transparency are supported with carefully detailed glazing between interior program elements. Transparency is also employed on the exterior facades to blur the line between the natural world and the interior environment. This connection to the exterior is enhanced through operable and motorized windows which are opened when exterior conditions permit. The exterior space to the north of the Lee Hall addition is carefully proportioned and intentionally flexible to foster full scale fabrications.
Above: first floor plan - click for larger image
Location: Clemson University Clemson, South Carolina
Client: Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities
Size: 55,000 sf
Project Team: Thomas Phifer FAIA, Eric Richey, Robert Chan Katie Bennett
Architect: Thomas Phifer and Partners
Associate Architect: McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Structural Engineering: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Mechanical Engineer: Talbot and Associates
Landscape Architect: Pond and Company
Civil Engineer: Dutton Engineering
Environmental Consultant: Transsolar Inc.
General Contractor: Holder Construction