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BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

United States Architecture News - Apr 19, 2019 - 03:08   4532 views

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG has extended the Isenberg School of Management building with copper clad pillars that gradually slope downward, creating a distinguished appearance for the entrance of the building.

Situated at the heart of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, BIG and Boston-based firm Goody Clancy have expanded the school’s current space to accommodate Isenberg’s growth in the last decade, while introducing new facilities for more than 150 staff and 5,000 students in undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. programs. 

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

BIG and Goody Clancy were commissioned in 2015 to design a flexible space that inspires and facilitates collaboration for every Isenberg student.

Called Isenberg School Of Management Business Innovation Hub, the new 6,503-square-metre building will serve as a hyper-collaborative study and social space to one of the top-30 public business schools in the United States.

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

The new building is situated on Haigis Mall near the entrance to the campus, its dramatic triangular glass entrance creating a domino-effect to greet students. 

The building exterior is wrapped in straight, vertical pillars that gradually slope downward, creating a distinct appearance without any curved elements. BIG extended the original building, built in 1964, from the north and east sides in a wide circular loop, linking back on the upper floors to maintain connectivity. 

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

The loop consolidates Isenberg’s faculty and staff under one roof, creating a singular place of arrival and a strong visual identity for the entire Isenberg School of Management.

"The Business Innovation Hub’s exterior is clad in copper, so long-term exposure to the elements will naturally weather the metal from a dark ochre to an enduring patina," said BIG in its project description.

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

With longevity and sustainability in mind, the building also targets LEED Silver certification. Upon entering, students and faculty arrive at the 465-square-metre learning space. 

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

Daylight peers between the accordion-like pillars to illuminate the multi-story atrium, where the heart of the business school hums with students learning, networking and dining. 

The bright and spacious "Learning Commons" space doubles as an event venue for guest speakers, award ceremonies, banquets, and career fairs. In any room or hallway, natural light reaches inside from both the campus and the inner courtyard.

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

"Throughout the Business Innovation Hub, spaces are designed with student interactions, teamwork and chance encounter in mind: soft chairs adorn the corridors, benches are affixed to the grand stairway and classroom chairs can easily maneuver for theater-style lectures or small-group work. On the second and third floors, students and staff occupy the innovation labs, advising spaces and faculty offices," added BIG.

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

BIG also used integrated technology in the classrooms for distance learning to support the career development of every Isenberg student.

In addition, the Chase Career Center gains 15 new interview rooms, and various conference rooms and breakout areas are distributed throughout the loop. The inner spaces of the extension face a circular courtyard, where an open-air garden and stone benches create an oasis for collaboration and contemplation.

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

"The courtyard connects back to the campus via two pathways between the original Isenberg building and the Business Innovation Hub. The buildings are fused by two bridges above the paths: the large bridge cloaked in copper becomes the gateway to the courtyard while the small bridge glazed with glass forms a visual continuity around the interior courtyard," BIG explained.

"In the evening, the Business Innovation Hub glows from the life within—appearing as an inviting beacon on the campus and creating a lasting impression for campus visitors, staff and students."

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiou

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

BIG creates entrance with accordion-like pillars for Business Innovation Hub at Massachusetts

Project facts

Partners-in-charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen, Beat Schenk, Daniel Sundlin
Project leaders: Yu Inamoto, Pauline Lavie-Luong, Hung Kai Liao
Team: Alice Cladet, Amina Blacksher, Barbara Stallone, Cheyenne Vandevoorde, Daniel Kidd, Davide Maggio, Deborah Campbell, Denys Kozak, Derek Wong, Domenic Schmid, Douglass Alligood, Elena Bresciani, Emily Mohr, Fabian Lorenz, Francesca Portesine, Ibrahim Salman, Jan Leenknegt, Justyna Mydlak, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Ku Hun Chung, Linda Halim, Lucas Hong, Manon Otto, Maria Eugenia Dominguez, Mustafa Khan, Nicolas Gustin, Pei Pei Yang, Peter Lee, Seoyoung Shin, Simon Lee, Terrence Chew, Tianqi Zhang, Yixin Li
BIG Ideas: Tore Banke, Yehezkiel Wiliardy, Kristoffer Negendahl.

All images Max Touhey, unless stated otherwise.

All drawings © BIG

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