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IMAGE: Foundations of Excellence - Building the Future
IMAGE: Architecture Building

Architecture Building Design Competition

Design Competition for New Kent State Architecture Building

Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design will soon be getting a new home on the Kent State University Esplanade, a pedestrian walkway through campus that is currently being extended into downtown Kent, Ohio.

A new architecture building is part of the university’s campus transformation, called “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future,” which involves the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and establishment of dynamic, new spaces. The goal of this initiative is to create the most outstanding academic experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community enriched by the university.

Kent State is hosting a design competition for the new architecture building to be constructed along the Kent State University Esplanade extension near downtown Kent. The estimated cost of the new building is $40 million. Currently, this signature program is housed in three separate structures. A new building will unite the college under one roof.

“We are certain with the talents of the firms that are vying for this project, the end result will be a building that is a fantastic addition to our campus, an icon for one of Kent State’s signature programs and a model of forward-thinking, sustainable design that will inspire a generation of future architects,” said Michael Bruder, director of design and construction at Kent State’s Office of the University Architect.

Generating Excitement in the Architecture Profession

Internationally recognized architects have already applied, giving Kent State a wide range of candidates to choose from. In all, 37 entries were received.

“This list of architects is unprecedented for a Kent State project,” said Douglas Steidl, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State. “This is truly a significant list of 37 teams. Those who have applied include Zaha Hadid, who is deemed the leading female architect in the world; Coop Himelb(l)au, who created the Akron Art Museum; Thom Mayne of Morphosis; and numerous other designers of note. Seven of the teams contain AIA National Firm Award winners, geographically located from Boston to Seattle. Many are recognized for their work across the country and around the world.”

The architecture firms that entered the design competition were:
Company Name Partner Firm
1. Allied Works Architecture Payto Architects
2. Anmahian Winton Architects David L. Sommers, AIA Architects
3. Balog Steines Hendricks & Manchester Architects, Inc. Gwathmey Seigel Kaufman & Associates
4. Belson Design Architects, LLC Coop Himmelb(l)au
5. Bialosky + Partners Architects, LLC Architecture Research Office
6. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson SoL Harris/Day Architecture
7. Bostwick Design Partnership BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)
8. Braun & Steidl Architects, Inc. William McDonough + Partners
9. CBLH Design, Inc. Koetter Kim
10. Centerbrook Architects and Planners Metropolitan Architects
11. Clark & Post Architects, Inc. Ehlrich Architects
12. Eric Owen Moss Architects, APC WSA Studio
13. Farshid Moussavi Architecture  
14. Gensler Architecture Design + Planning, P.C. Robert Maschke Architects
15. Hasenstab Architects, Inc. Holzmann Moss Bottino Architects
16. John Ronan Architect, LLC  
17. Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design, Inc. Rogers Marvel
18. KZF Design Morphosis
19. Legat & Kingscott, LLC  
20. Moody-Nolan, Inc. Anoine Predock Architect PC
21. NADAA Architecture LLC  
22. NBBJ LLC  
23. Olsavsky Jaminet Architects, Inc. designLAB architects
24. Perspectus Architecture LLC Perkins + Will
25. Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects and Strollo Architects  
26. Poggemeyer Design Group, Inc. Schwartz/Silver Architects, Inc.
27. Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.
28. Richard L. Bowen + Associates, Inc. Weiss/Manfredi
29. Sasaki Associates, Inc. Clark & Post Architects, Inc.
30. Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects LLP Thom Stauffer Architects
31. SSOE Group Pelli Clark Pelli Architects
32. Studio TECHNEarchitects ShoP Architects PC
33. The Collaborative Inc. Miller Hull Partnership, LLC
34. URS Corporation Yazdani Studio of Canon Design
35. Westlake Reed Leskosky, Ltd.  
36. WTW Architects, Inc. Overland Partners Architects
37. Zaha Hadid Architects Domokur Architects

Narrowing Down the Field

In mid-October 2012, the field of 37 entries was narrowed down to eight. Interviews with the eight firms are being conducted in later October and early November. The eight firms were:

1. Bialosky + Partners Architects, LLC Architecture Research Office
2. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson SoL Harris/Day Architecture
3. KZP Design Morphosis
5. Richard L. Bowen + Associates, Inc. Weiss/Manfredi
6. The Collaborative Inc. Miller Hull Partnership, LLC
7. Westlake Reed Leskosky, Ltd.  
8. WTW Architects, Inc. Overland Partners Architects

Selecting a Winner

On Nov. 19, 2012, the university announced the finalists, narrowing the field to four firms and offering a stipend for design solutions from each of them. The four teams selected for the last stage of the design competition are:

  1. Bialosky + Partners Architects, with offices in New York and Cleveland, in association with Architecture Research Office of New York
  2. Richard L. Bowen + Associates Inc. of Cleveland in association with Weiss/Manfredi of New York
  3. The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo, Ohio, in association with the Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle
  4. Westlake Reed Leskosky with offices in Cleveland and four other cities
On Jan. 17, 2013, the four selected teams will present their design concepts, sustainability data and a cost estimate to the selection committee, followed by an abbreviated presentation that will be open to the public, including College of Architecture and Environmental Design students and faculty (see press release). While the sustainability data is analyzed and the cost estimate will be reviewed by independent sources, the presentation materials will be further evaluated by the jury to determine the winning design scheme.

Winner Announced

On April 2, 2013, Kent State announced that the winning architecture team is WEISS/MANFREDI, lead designer, and Richard L. Bowen & Associates, architect of record.  Read the announcement press release.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visit
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