Complex exterior designed to have ‘public and open presence’
TOWSON, Md. (Feb. 1, 2007)—Groundbreaking for the new 250,000 square foot College of Liberal Arts Complex—TU’s new public face along Towsontown Boulevard—is slated for later this spring, following the demolition of Lida Lee Tall.
Although the CLA building exterior will incorporate some roof forms, bay windows and masonry materials reminiscent of TU’s historic buildings, it was designed as a 21st century academic building, says David Mayhew, director of architecture, engineering and construction for Facilities Management.
“The building was designed to relate to its existing neighbors to the south—Hawkins and Psychology—in terms of scale, exterior materials and window patterns. At the same time, it will relate to the newer look of the Center for the Arts and present a new public image to the north.”
Distinctive multi-story glass galleries will break up the length of the building and identify the main entrances. These galleries, the main circulation spaces passing through the building, will connect public entrances on the north side with campus entrances on the south. “They define the building’s overall massing and give the building its distinctive roof forms,” says Mayhew. “This building is intended to have a very public and open presence, befitting a College of Liberal Arts.”
As the first new building constructed in the main academic precinct of campus in several decades, the CLA complex building design was particularly challenging, according to Mayhew. “It is the master plan’s intention to develop a consistent campus, with buildings that respect their neighbors and, in many ways, defer to the public spaces between them.”
Mayhew says the campus master plan and design guidelines were the inspiration for the building’s exterior design, along with input from senior administration officials. The CLA complex will influence the design of future academic buildings on campus while respecting TU’s architectural heritage.
“I think the architects recognized it would have been inappropriate to attempt to replicate Stephens Hall—TU’s historic and iconic image—on this part of campus,” he says.
“The new CLA building will present a new public face along Towsontown Boulevard and set the standard for future academic buildings on campus."