Muntz Hall, the University of Cincinnati's Blue Ash satellite campus primary academic and faculty building, has served students since 1967. The 136,566SF renovation brings modern/ flexible teaching practices and prepares the Hall for more serviceable decades. The prompt was to create an interior experience that rivals main campus’ signature architecture for less cost.
The designers created a spatial optimization visual platform that proved a better alignment of spaces with today’s programs and the classrooms were right-sized. This data-backed, visual proof allowed Facilities and the Dean to remove a planned 20,000SF addition.
The designers held student and professor feedback sessions (live and digital) to better learn branch campus culture; transparency and interaction themes reigned.
Dark, enclosed academic and office spaces became visually open and transparent. New windows with sun shades were cut into the exterior bringing daylight and view to uninspiring rooms. Efficiency rose 60.1% by improved insulation, new windows, LED lighting and geowells–a first for the University on any campus.
The design facilitates today’s integrated learning and student culture with state-of-the-art learning labs with today’s technology with flexibility for the unknown. Special attention was given to corridor design as student study or interaction space. Spaces include a mix of active learning and traditional classrooms, physics and learning labs, private faculty and open office space, academic student services offices, open lounge and meeting spaces, break rooms, and student life areas.
The work is phased over a 4-5-year period to accommodate continued occupancy and use of the building.