BIG unveils The Village student centre for Johns Hopkins University

18 January 2021

Architecture firm BIG has won a competition to design a village-like student centre for the Johns Hopkins research university in Baltimore, Maryland.

BIG came up with The Village design proposal for the Hopkins Student Center in response to an international design competition.

The winning scheme for the 150,000-square-foot (13,935-square-metre) building will provide a non-academic hub on the Homewood campus of the school, which was founded in 1876 as America’s first research university.

It will comprise a cluster of flat-roofed, timber volumes that will host a range of activities like relaxation, performing arts and dining, all stacked along a sloped site. These will also open to the outdoors to complete the arrangement BIG likens to a village.

“We have attempted to imagine and design the Campus Center like a village condensed from a plethora of different spaces and pavilions for the greatest possible diversity of activities, interests and sub-cultures,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.

The Village will be built at the intersection of 33rd Street and Charles Street, which runs through Baltimore and cuts between the school campus and Charles Village neighbourhood where 3,500 students live.

With this location, it is intended to provide a new link between the school and the surrounding city and become a main hub.

“Often the greatest ideas and breakthroughs occur away from the desk, when minds have a chance to wander, to play, to riff with others,” said BIG partner Leon Rost.

“The new Hopkins Student Center is designed to provoke the sometimes-necessary distractions that complement rigorous academic life – a place for a future generation of Salks, Curies, and Cricks to unlock their next great discovery.”

The volumes will be mass timber and topped with photovoltaic panels. These design choices were made to help meet the university’s goals for sustainability.

While the exterior is fragmented, the inside will form open-plan, flexible layouts for facilities such as student resources and support services, lounges, a digital media centre, a performance space with seating for 200 people and a dynamic dining hall.

Source: Dezeen

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