University of Cincinnati Selects Design Team for New Lindner College of Business

On December 18, the University of Cincinnati announced that its new $100-135 million Carl H. Lindner College of Business facility would be designed by the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects in association with Cincinnati-based KZF Design. The final building is expected to be paid for through a combination of private donation and university funds.

This continues the university’s Signature Architecture Program, in which renown architecture firms from around the world are selected to design new buildings on campus, typically with a local firm serving as the architect of record. In such an arrangement, the design architect typically leads the project from concept through the design development stage, in which the overall design intent for the building is established.

The architect of record (also sometimes known as the executive architect) then carries the project through construction documents and construction administration, assuming responsibility for the technical aspects of the project. Each party typically has some involvement over the entire course of the design and construction process, but the architect of record remains legally responsible for the project, including compliance with applicable building codes.

This arrangement is common when the project is located outside the design architect’s own geographic region, and/or if the project type is outside the design architect’s usual area of expertise. For example, New York-based Architecture Research Office recently collaborated with Heery International, an Atlanta-based firm with a strong portfolio of athletic facilities, on the design of the new West Pavilion at Nippert Stadium.

Founded in 1959, Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects has a long history of innovative design for educational facilities throughout the world, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. Recent projects include Campus Kolding at the University of Southern Denmark, and the Copenhagen Business School in Porcelænshaven, Frederiksberg. Common to all of Henning Larsen’s projects are a strong emphasis on transparency, natural daylighting, and an environment that nurtures a spirit of open collaboration.

Cincinnati-based KZF Design was founded in 1956 and has become one of Cincinnati’s most venerable architecture firms. KZF has a well-established history of serving as architect of record on a number of notable projects at UC, including the Campus Recreation Center in association with Morphosis and the Engineering Research Center in association with Michael Graves.

KZF was also the architect of record on Zaha Hadid‘s Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Cincinnati, and was responsible for the re-cladding of the Aronoff Center at UC, home to the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Henning Larsen and KZF had been shortlisted for the College of Business project in early December, along with Foster + Partners and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, both based in the United Kingdom.

To be built at the current site of the Myers Alumni Center and unused faculty club building, the planned 250,000- to 275,000-square-foot is anticipated to house most all of the facilities for students and faculty at the fast-growing college. Unclear at this point is the fate of the 1,601-space Campus Green Garage located immediately adjacent to the existing Lindner Hall, which is expected to be demolished once the new building is completed.

Should both be demolished, it would open up a vast space for potential construction for other uses – serving as a masterstroke of campus redevelopment that would provide much-needed classroom space, while also opening up UC’s main campus to Burnet Woods and ridding main campus of one of its most unsightly above-ground parking structures.

  • Eric Douglas

    It seems like most of the quality contemporary architecture comes from northern Europe- see Dezeen.
    And hooray for the campus green garage coming down, maybe Lindner will also come down eventually.

    • Lindner will almost certainly be torn down, but it’s not yet clear about what will happen with Campus Green Garage. The two structures are connected with each other, so I would imagine that if you take one down, you might as well take down the other as well.

    • Eric Douglas

      I’m not sure the connections within and between the two buildings could’ve been designed to be any worse. But I would think eliminating the campus green garage would create a parking void, especially since the new business school would be in the middle of campus and the cg garage is right off MLK. I’m not sure Bishop St and MLK can take anymore onstreet student parking.

    • It doesn’t appear that there’s that much of a connection between the garage and the building:

      I could see Lindner being demolished and replaced with something of a much higher density while keeping Campus Green Garage around for the foreseeable future. The biggest question is what would replace Lindner. McMicken needs additional space and College of Law needs a new building, so one of those could be a possibility.

    • Eric Douglas

      Both are aweful modernist buildings, you have to go to the third floor from either to get across, so imagine the delay if you parked at a great spot on the 1st floor but have a class on the 6th. And Lindner is that aweful modernist design where the access is centered through core and classrooms radiate outwards to the top.

    • If I recall correctly, there’s first floor, second floor, and basement access from the garage. (Though the basement access is through the dumpster area.) There is no 3rd floor to Lindner… I think what you’re seeing is the 2nd floor bridge.

  • matimal

    So much for ‘virtual universities’ connecting students and faculty online reducing the costs of college education and ‘enabling flexibility.’ Isn’t it ironic that the age of webbed and globalized communication has INCREASED the value of face-to-face contact and driven the rise of urban centers.

  • Eric Anspach

    It seems unlikely that the garage will go – parking capacity is probably considered too valuable to discard. The garage will probably be incorporated into adjacent developments.

    • I wonder if it will be torn down and then incorporated into the new developments that will take its spot. This would be a major coup for the university in its efforts to remove parking structures from sight.