The Lindner College of Business

The Lindner College of Business

Architect
Henning Larsen

KZF Design
Location
2906 Woodside Drive, Cincinnati, OH, USA | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Universities
Stories By
Henning Larsen

BuroHappold Engineering
© Alex Fradkin

Henning Larsen Brings Scandinavian Sense of Openness to the University of Cincinnati’s Business School

Henning Larsen as Architects

Henning Larsen’s new business school at the University of Cincinnati emphasizes social wellness in the learning environment, introducing Scandinavian design to a campus famed for its architecture.


The opening of University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business is a fortuitous one, marking both the completion of Henning Larsen’s first project in North America and the university’s bicentennial. Completed after two years of construction, the project aims to create a deep-rooted sense of community within the school, combining the strong Scandinavian sense of communal wellness with Midwestern practicality. The project was completed in collaboration with Cincinnati-based studio KZF and BuroHappold.  


The 225,000ft2 (approximately 21,000m2) building is located within the heart of the university, a densely urban campus in the north of Cincinnati that boasts an impressive array of notable architecture. The new business school is a hinge within this landscape, linking together a traditional quad and city bus route to the UC Main Street, a pedestrian avenue that forms the school’s social nerve.


“We wanted the college to be not an object on the campus, but an extension of it,” explains Michael Sørensen, Partner and Head of Henning Larsen’s New York office. “Especially in business, where creating personal networks is so important, people can’t learn or work well if they feel boxed-in and invisible. The ability to connect had to be a kind of second nature in the building- it came from a motivation for the college to be the most open building on campus.”


This desire becomes clear during passing periods, when the building brims with students cutting through the campus or travel through the building’s corridors, halls, and stairwells. But silence doesn’t necessarily fall when classes begin again. The building gives uncommon attention to the learning that happens outside the classroom, in particular the kind that happens with others. A full height atrium punctures the center of the building, skylights illuminating tables and seating arrangements perennially populated by students with laptops. This continues up the floors, where counter seating encloses the atrium’s perimeter.


“When talking about the kind of community we wanted to create in the school, we found ourselves often returning to the Danish idea of hygge,” explains Sørensen. “It’s an idea now associated around the world with candlelight 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 new business school offers 70 percent more student space than its predecessor, its concept resisting the traditional model of compartmentalized classrooms and offices to promote a more generous vision of future learning. This is articulated in the informal spaces – hall seating complete with plugs, classrooms with interior windows – but also in the inclusion of atypical formal spaces for learning and teaching. The building includes a gallery at the ground level and two courtyards in the building’s upper levels that double as light wells to the deep interiors.



“Scandinavian culture has a big focus on communal spaces and what you share within them –this was something we felt was important to bring to the Lindner Building,” says Sørensen. “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. By including a variety of spaces for students and faculty to work and connect on their own terms, we emphasize the importance of the social aspects of learning.”


The Lindner College of Business joins a campus landscape known internationally as a “who’s who” style guide to contemporary American architecture. Featuring works by famed architects such as Frank Gehry, Morphosis, Pei Cobb Freed and Bernard Tschumi, the present-day campus grew from a 1991 masterplan by Hargreaves Associates which, in concert with a university wide-effort to bring quality architecture to campus, sought to craft a strong contemporary identity for the institution.


The new business school sits in the campus’ northeastern quadrant, its four prismatic volumes aligning with the neighboring quad’s footpath to encourage students to pass directly through the building during their campus commute. From the outside, the building takes on a lenticular quality, its façade appearing glassily transparent or stony-faced and opaque from different vantages. Inside, this strategy translate to constant diffuse light, minimizing both the need for artificial lighting in the day and harsh glare. The skylight roof of the central atrium allows the deep interior to brim with sunlight, casting distorted rectangles of light through the space as the sun moves in the sky.


The Lindner College of Business was designed by Henning Larsen and completed in collaboration with KZF Design, BuroHappold, Harris Architects, PEDCO, Woolpert, BCE Engineering, and the University of Cincinnati. The project is the first to be completed by Henning Larsen’s New York office, which opened in late 2018. It is currently working on projects across North America, among them a civic center in Etobicoke, Canada and a mixed-use office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Future-Oriented Business School Complex at University of Cincinnati Showcases

BuroHappold Engineering as Engineers

Creative, highly sustainable engineering solutions from BuroHappold support the delivery of the new, Henning Larsen-designed atrium complex for the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business

 

BuroHappold Engineering, a world-class global practice creating solutions for buildings, campuses and cities, has announced the opening of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. The much-anticipated new building -- conceived by Danish firm Henning Larsen on a campus known for innovative academic and campus life environments -- includes an expansive atrium, two spacious courtyards, and flexible areas for informal meetings and interdisciplinary education among students, researchers and business leaders, all reflecting the university’s project-based learning approach and enriching academic life with daylight and inspiring spaces.

 

The 225,000-square-foot construction project, overseen by Turner Construction Co. and designed by Henning Larsen and Cincinnati-based architect KZF Design, reflects a global vision from the Copenhagen-based architects and supported by BuroHappold’s U.S. team in the cultural and educational sectors.

 

Among the challenges for the $120 million complex, which broke ground in May 2017 and opens on schedule and on budget today, are a novel cantilevered structural system to bridge existing site utilities that cross the site as well as the interior’s airy and daylight drenched four-story atrium connecting labs, study zones and faculty office areas. The completed building is tracking to meet rigorous green-building criteria for LEED version 4.0 Gold certification.

 

BuroHappold has harnessed a powerful suite of analytical tools to inform the design process for daylight evaluation, dynamic thermal modeling, people flow modeling and energy modeling, says Matthew Herman, a principal in the firm’s Chicago office. A fourth tool, computational fluid dynamics or CFD, predicted the movement of air and heat inside the complex building as well as wind impacts on its exterior. ”Together, these four tools provide institutions like the University of Cincinnati and their architects an unparalleled understanding of how to minimize energy use while ensuring the comfort and enjoyment of students and faculty over the life of the investment,” adds Herman.

 

According to Henning Larsen, “We designed the Lindner College of Business with the ambition of creating an open and generous addition to the campus. In a field where creating personal networks is so important, we considered it essential to create an institution that values educational excellence and social wellness equally. We are enormously proud of not just the building, but also of the close collaboration with the university and design partners that made it possible.”

 

As design engineer for this advanced academic community, BuroHappold collaborated with the design team and consultants including PEDCO (mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems) and Woolpert (structures) to resolve a number of critical challenges:

 

To allow drainage of a nearby creek bed and protect an old brick conduit, BuroHappold helped devise a structural cantilever, hidden amid the base of the new Lindner College of Business, according to the firm’s associate Andy Rastetter, P.E., and associate principal Phil Skellorn.

 

Inside the new building, the large atrium creates connected spaces for informal meetings and flexible teaching and study facilities, emphasizing the university's project-based approach to learning. To ensure the vast open interior meets both campus energy goals and safety needs for smoke evacuation, BuroHappold engineers devised a performance-based solution in conjunction with local officials to manage smoke exhaust systems.

 

For the green roof and its large areas of plantings and gardens, structural engineers at BuroHappold modeled the roof slopes and access points, which are critical to ensure robust roof design and function. In addition, a unique truss system at the roof level supports lower parts of the structure, which are hung off the truss, according to BuroHappold’s structural engineer Rastetter.

 

“We’ve matched the University of Cincinnati’s commendable environmental targets by delivering a low energy strategy integrated with the architectural intent,” says BuroHappold’s Herman, who oversaw the BuroHappold team. “By using radiant surfaces combined with controlled introduction of fresh air, the academic community benefits from the openness of the building atrium and light wells to draw in sunlight and air, creating a productive and engaging environment ideal for a business school.”

 

Among the offerings to serve some 5,000 students at the Lindner College of Business are the large courtyards and atrium, more than 240 faculty office spaces, a 150-seat, two-story lecture hall, a 250-seat auditorium, research labs, open workspaces, exam and tutoring areas, huddle and breakout rooms.

 

“This new work represents a major milestone for our college as we collaboratively build the future of business education here in Cincinnati,” said David Szymanski, dean of the Lindner College of Business. “Our College’s community has worked diligently to ensure this building serves as a tremendous catalyst for a continued ascension to preeminence.”

 

The design team’s various engineering advances have been essential to creating this “infrastructural and social gathering point” envisioned by Henning Larsen for the university's growing West Campus. The new College also represents the continuation of an ambitious campus master plan developed over a decade ago by university leadership and Hargreaves Associates, a planner and landscape architect -- a plan still advancing the institutional mission and attracting many internationally recognized architects.

 

“As an urban university, we have a commitment to not only educate the future workforce but to partner in ways that advance the entire community,” said Neville Pinto, president of the University of Cincinnati. “The new facility [serves as] a 21st-century hub for our students, faculty, and Greater Cincinnati business community, providing a collaborative space for education, research, and innovation to thrive.”

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Graux & Baeyens responds dynamically to Belgian farmhouse vernacular
27 Jan 2022 News
Graux & Baeyens responds dynamically to Belgian farmhouse vernacular

Forming the core of a new living/exterior room, the thoughtful introduction of covered outdoor space... More

Alfa Research Center is an island of the future that captures the realities of daily life
27 Jan 2022 News
Alfa Research Center is an island of the future that captures the realities of daily life

An ‘island of the future’ that gathers the best technologies to improve products, the ne... More

The Diptych by Para Project speaks to urban UNESCO Heritage fabric
26 Jan 2022 News
The Diptych by Para Project speaks to urban UNESCO Heritage fabric

A temporary pavilion for the 2021 Brugge Triennale, TraumaA, Brugge, Belgium, The Diptych by PARA Pr... More

Phoebe Says Wow Architects take a novel approach to coffee in the city with their renovation of Fifteen Steps Workshop Coffee
25 Jan 2022 News
Phoebe Says Wow Architects take a novel approach to coffee in the city with their renovation of Fifteen Steps Workshop Coffee

In a bustling commercial district of Taipei, Phoebe Says Wow Architects undertook this renovation of... More

Simple and robust Paris Metro Line reaches great depths with an impressive structural concept
25 Jan 2022 News
Simple and robust Paris Metro Line reaches great depths with an impressive structural concept

Located at the base of the Paris judicial tribunals, the new Porte de Clichy station by AZC Atelier... More

Holiday Home Hagen features an abstract façade made of ‘knitted’ logs
24 Jan 2022 News
Holiday Home Hagen features an abstract façade made of ‘knitted’ logs

On the outer skirts of Laterns Bonacker, Holiday Home Hagen by Marte.Marte Architects is part of a s... More

Lafine de Paris Wedding Showroom provides a unique platform for works of art
21 Jan 2022 News
Lafine de Paris Wedding Showroom provides a unique platform for works of art

In China, Huqiu Wedding City is an important wholesale and retail base for the wedding industry that... More

Peloponnese Rural House by Architectural Studio Ivana Lukovic provides needed respite for a nature-loving family
21 Jan 2022 News
Peloponnese Rural House by Architectural Studio Ivana Lukovic provides needed respite for a nature-loving family

Surrounded by picturesque olive groves in the Greek village of Kalamia, Peloponnese Rural House by A... More