Wright State University New Classroom Building

Design + Construction Process

Regarding Safety Concerns at the Tunnel Entry to the New Classroom Building

We have heard the many comments and concerns on the design of the tunnel area in the Basement. We are currently working on a solution to increase visibility and safety. We thought we had a redesign that addressed all of the noted concerns, but due to comments from the Building Code officials, we need to reconsider our approach.

We will post an updated design as soon as it is final. Please bear with us as we resolve this important issue!


Q: Why is there no basement level (except for a doorway into stairs and an elevator)?  A: This creates a really creepy dead end – great for zombie movies, but not so good for a college campus.  B: Aren’t we wasting a lot of space?  We could fill a basement level with several more classrooms and get the fully utilize the footprint of the new building.

A: The Classroom Building design utilizes a basement which exits at grade as it faces University Hall due to the grade elevation change across the site.  The basement level is in fact full of Active Learning Classrooms.  The tunnel connection is actually a sub-basement level.  The tunnel system is being extended into the new building from University Hall, and may in the future connect to other new buildings.  The tunnel terminates at the location of the Building’s vertical circulation, including two elevators and a major stair and provides convenient access to the building.  In addition, the University has emphasized a need for quality of space, not just quantity.  Studies have shown that people are more productive, healthier, and alert in spaces that provide daylight and views. This building will be a sustainable, inviting, and comfortable place to work and learn, enhanced by natural light.  The bright and comfortable design will continue into the tunnel space.  This is the end of the tunnel system and is similar to the way the tunnel ends or changes elevations in other locations.  The architects will not design a creepy dark corner and the university planners would not allow this to happen.

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Schematic Design Submittal: Exterior Options

The full schematic design submission is available for download. This post will take a look a quick look at some exterior renderings and possible elevations of the New Classroom Building.

Scheme 1:


Scheme 1 Entry on Second Floor


Scheme 1 View from the northwest

C:UsersComputer1DesktopWSU_Classroom_ExteriorScheme1_ComputeSouth Elevation (faces SE)

C:UsersComputer1DesktopWSU_Classroom_ExteriorScheme1_ComputeNorth Elevation (faces NW)

Scheme 2:


Scheme 2 Entry on Second Floor


Scheme 2 View From East & Academic Core

C:UsersComputer1DesktopWSU_Classroom_ExteriorScheme2_ComputeSouth Elevation (faces SE)

C:UsersComputer1DesktopWSU_Classroom_ExteriorScheme2_ComputeNorth Elevation (faces NW)

Please comment below, and come back Monday to see updated plans issued as part of the SD submission.

Schematic Design: Exterior Massing

The following exterior massing schemes were developed from the latest posted ‘3X Scheme’ plan. Different massing options and material conditions are explored. Areas for large expanses of glazing are identified, as well as spaces that need smaller openings. The three options range from contextual to contemporary, but all share a material palette starting point as well as the plan and arrangement of interior spaces.

Option 1:

C:UsersComputer1Documentsscheme1.pdf Continue reading

‘3X’ Scheme Plan Development

3X Scheme Axon

The “3X” Scheme was chosen for development by Wright State University Planning, faculty liaisons, and the design team. The scheme was selected for its dynamic circulation, interesting forms, appropriate massing in relation to University Hall, ample daylighting possibilities, flexibility for the height of the auditorium and the good relationships of the programmed functions. The following post will illustrate the development of the plan from a preliminary understanding of relationships and adjacencies to a schematic design plan. This process includes further detail of layouts, incorporation of building services like restrooms and recycling, mechanical shafts, and other secondary functions. Continue reading to see how the plan has developed.

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