Submitted by Mert Kansu

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

United States Architecture News - Dec 13, 2023 - 06:21   956 views

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

Clifton Court Hall, a brand new addition to the historic University of Cincinnati campus, locates itself on the prominent academic ridge. The building unifies social science programs into a multidisciplinary research and education facility, and brings together seven academic departments. Faculty workspace, specialized lab spaces, administrative offices, classrooms, and collaboration areas have been gathered under a single roof to establish a vibrant ecosystem of research, learning, and social engagement.

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

Being a reflection of the collaborative program, design efforts brought LMN and KZF Design together, with the construction expertise of Messer Construction to create a collaborative powerhouse. Clifton Court Hall embraces a range of academic departments from various buildings within the campus, and forms the new center for the College of Arts and Sciences. This hub encompasses departments such as of Political Science, Communication, Psychology, Journalism, German Studies, and Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures.

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

The building situated at the western edge of the campus, crates an arrival marker that connects College of Arts and Sciences to the active campus core as well as to the adjacent urban neighborhood. The design of the building can be found at the intersection of functional flexibility, multiple program needs and ever evolving pedagogies. Architects have orchestrated the academic functions such as collaboration and specialized learning spaces, to create expressive architectural volumes that link the building with campus pathways, animate the entry experiences, and interweave learning and research activities with the overall life of the campus.

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

Clifton Court Hall goes beyond serving the resident populations, and houses above 1,000 classroom seats that is constituted of a mix of flexible flat floor, lecture and auditoria spaces which add to the institution’s existing classroom stock. Collaboration spaces and team rooms, all connected by an open internal circulation is anchored at the heart of the building, the large community atrium. The atrium, filled with light provided by the skylights and large north and south-facing windows also make strong visual connection to the surrounding campus spaces. Furthermore, the space acts as a community hub for the College, fostering academic discourse and social exchange through a series of community and collaboration spaces, and adjacent team rooms. A sculptural red stairway extends three stories diagonally through the atrium, serving as a major campus pathway, and connects the interdisciplinary communities within.

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

On the outside, the building responds to the specific site conditions of the west campus gateway by complementing rich architectural heritage of the campus while employing contemporary design principles to serve the needs of innovative academic research and learning. The distinctively proportioned volumes frame a special terminus to the historic Clifton Yard and present a welcoming presence to the off-campus community. heavily used campus pedestrian pathways and entry points.

LMN Architects Tell a Story of Rigor, and Dynamism With the New Clifton Court Hall Design

The massing steps down at lower levels to mediate the sloping topography at the site, and engage the heavily used campus pedestrian pathways and entry points. On the facades, the designers chose to use terracotta panels which evoke the red brick tones which is prominent around the campus buildings, and express the variety of program uses within a modular framework. This not only helps to unify the overall building composition, but also support the College’s long term flexibility.

Project facts

Architects: LMN Architects, KZF Design
Client: University of Cincinnati
Landscape Architect: MKSK
MEP: Buro Happold
General Contractor: Messer Construction
Lighting Designer: Buro Happold and Studio Lumen
Acoustic Consultant: Threshold Acoustics
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Year: 2023
Area: 185,400 ft²

Top Image © Tim Griffith.

Photography © Tim Griffith.

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