Grand Award - New Jersey Concrete Awards & AIA Newark And Suburban Architects Gold Award
Architecture - Higher Education / 3D Modeling
Kean University’s latest addition to its Union, New Jersey, campus, a 102,275-square-foot, mixed-use academic building, opened to students for classes on January 21, 2014. Located at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Green Lane, the undulating glass, stone, and brick building now serves as a gateway icon, marking the west entrance to Kean’s campus. The building has been awarded an AIA Newark and Suburban Architects Gold award and the New Jersey Concrete Awards grand prize.
The six-story building, which is designed to provide both a stimulating and metaphorical environment for learning, includes a Barnes & Noble college bookstore and cafe on the first floor (both scheduled to open later in 2014), classroom and administration space on floors two through five, and a conference center and rooftop terrace on the sixth floor with views of New York City. The building will serve as the home for Kean’s new Robert Busch School of Design, as well as the University’s expanding business programs.
Among the building’s most distinctive and modern design element is its undulating glass building façade. The geometry of the glass façade captures a visually exciting, ever-changing picture of the building’s context, blending together interior segments of the university with that of the surrounding environment. While most academic buildings are typically located on access-controlled campuses or set back far from public roads and walkways, the Green Lane building offers “access” to those who are not part of the Kean University community.
Besides being home to the bookstore and café which are open to the public, the exterior skin of the building is designed to facilitate a connection between the building occupants inside and the local community outside. For example, the first floor café spills out from behind its glass façade into an outside seating area located directly under the building’s sloped façade.