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Young Architects Deliver Class Project

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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Architecture students at the University of Kansas are building some major real-world experience while improving their school’s look and space.

Graduate students enrolled in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning's Studio 804 designed and are building The Forum, a 120-seat auditorium, commons area and exhibition space, onto the department’s Marvin Hall to make the space a more engaging place to learn.

Studio 804, an 18-person masters class, has produced 12 housing units and six LEED Platinum buildings over 20 years. The Forum is its biggest project to date.

Charles Linn / Vimeo

Graduate architecture students at enrolled in Studio 804 at the University of Kansas designed and are completing The Forum, a new lecture hall, commons area and exhibition space.

The Forum features a “naturally ventilated glass facade,” which “builds on the past, yet takes advantage of the tremendous advance in building technology available today,” according to the Studio 804 website.

“Young people today have been denied a tectonic experience. To synthesize their education is important,” Professor Dan Rockhill, who leads Studio 804, told The Architect’s Paper.

The Project

Work on The Forum at Marvin Hall began in August 2013; ground was broken in October 2013. A photo-filled blog offers project updates, and weekly progress is documented.

Like previous Studio 804 projects, the facility will incorporate both passive and active sustainable systems and technologies.

A vented wall system will allow the skin of the building to change depending on the time of year. In the summer, the dual wall will be vented to allow the heated air to escape and pull in cooler air from underneath the addition, the project website reports.

In the winter, the vents will be closed, trapping heated air inside the cavity to act as a warm “blanket” for the addition. Vertical louvers will assist with climate and lighting controls. The building also has two layers of glass, which are separated from the louvers by three feet from floor to ceiling. Windows can also be opened or closed.

University of Kansas The Forum Architecture Hall
KU Architecture and Studio 804

Students install a glass panel facade to The Forum, their new lecture hall. Vertical louvers along with the double glass will assist with climate control. The project is expected to be completed this month.

The project will cost $2.5 million and add 2,800 square feet of space to the school.

The need for dedicated classroom space was apparent as the architecture program requires 21 courses, most of which are held outside of Marvin Hall because of a lack of space, The Architect’s Paper reported.

The purpose is to produce “a collaborative, hands-on design-build project where students do absolutely everything themselves from concept to finishes.”

In order to help the new space flow into the older space, the old 600-square-foot jury room was renovated, along with a foyer. “We wanted the old jury room to become what it was meant to be,” student Jonathan Wilde told the news source.

Solar panels were also installed on the roof; the project will seek LEED Platinum certification.

University of Kansas The Forum solar panels
Studio 804

Students install solar panels at The Forum. The project is aiming for LEED Platinum certification.

Students are currently applying finishes on The Forum. Completion is expected this month.

Giving Back

Earlier this month, 360 Architecture of Kansas City, MO, donated $25,000 to the School of Architecture, Design & Planning for The Forum project.

Forty-one of the firm’s members, including five principals, are KU alumni, noted 360 Architecture principal John Eyler.

“We are thrilled to see The Forum constructed on campus and believe it will create a great opportunity for architecture students to connect with one another, and bring together design professionals from throughout the region,” Eyler said.


Tagged categories: Architects; Color + Design; Construction; Education; Green building; Green design; LEED; North America; Solar energy

Comment from Paul Graham, (9/11/2014, 8:10 AM)

Very interesting project. What type of Roof System was used? How thick is the membrane and insulation?

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