Student designers get to work on Administration Building.
By Gabrielle Maxey
The challenge: The Administration Building, once regarded as the grand structure on campus, no longer
provides a significant, positive entry experience for the many people who visit it
each day. The solution: U of M architecture and interior design students were invited to design an entry
experience for the building that respects the past while providing a dynamic, inviting
space that encourages interaction and reflects a 21st century workplace.
"This competition was particularly challenging," said Michael Hagge, chair of the
Department of Architecture. "It required students to first define what the architecture
of a '21st century' university should be, and then create an experiential response
within the context of the design program."
The competition — "A Vision for a Twenty-First Century University: Rethinking the
Entry to the Administration Building" — was open to students in the first and second
years of the master of architecture (MArch) degree program and students in the third
and four years of the BFA degree programs in architecture and interior design. Because
of the complexity of the design problem, the competition was not open to first- and
second-year BFA students. In all, 39 students submitted entries.
Rather than award first, second and third place, the Award of Distinction was presented
to five finalists. The winners, announced at an event Jan. 24, were Matt Sihvonen,
second year MArch; Megan Hoover, first year MArch; Rose Pereira, first year MArch;
Jacob Vaughn, fourth year BFA in architecture; and Jacqueline Sappenfield, four year
BFA in interior design. Each finalist also received $500.
|Megan Hoover's design of a new entry way into the Administration Building was one
of five finalists for a competition to "modernize" the entrance to one of the U of
M's original buildings.
The design jury found elements to admire in many of the entries, but said the finalists
best represented visions that ranged from "out there" to conservative.
One of the winning entries creates a "slice" through the Administration Building,
connecting two major nodes of student activity: the University Center and the seating
area outside the Tiger Den. By creating this path, students may freely pass through
the building instead of walking around it.
Another entry creates a two-story addition south of the Administration Building which
features a lounge and mezzanine surround by a reflecting pool. It links to a café
in the Administration Building.
"Participating in design competitions is an essential part of design education as
well as practice," said Hagge. "Providing opportunities such as this competition to
our students significantly enhances their preparation for entry into the professional
workplace after graduation. We sincerely appreciate President Brad Martin for working
with the Department of Architecture to make this competition a reality."
Hagge said the designs may actually be used in the future to modernize the Administration
Building, though the intent of the contest was more of a learning exercise.