Contemporary design of landmark facility at Morgan State provides a host of amenities and green elements and links urban and natural landscapes on campus in Baltimore City.
BALTIMORE– September 21, 2012 – The new Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS) at Morgan State University opened its doors yesterday to great acclaim from students, staff and the community. Hord Coplan Macht is the architect, in association with design architect The Freelon Group of Durham, NC, of the 126,000 sf, $67 million building. The Center will house research and instructional programs in Architecture and Planning, Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies, and, Civil Engineering in a highly cooperative and collaborative setting.
“Hord Coplan Macht was honored to play a lead role in the creation of this important new component on the Morgan State Campus,” said Tom Spies, Principal-in-Charge from Hord Coplan Macht. “It was inspiring for our team to provide space for students learning about subjects we are all knowledgeable and passionate about. We are confident CBEIS will serve as an incubator for new ideas and an inspiring environment for the next generation of leaders in architecture and engineering.”
Planned as a landmark building to house one of only two Schools of Architecture in the State, CBEIS (pronounced see-bis) is located at the north end of the University, and is designed to interact with and provide a link between two very different environments: the urban context along Perring Parkway and the natural landscape of the Herring Run Watershed. A contemporary, light-weight, exterior metal skin appropriately complements this building for design and engineering disciplines. The project includes an architecturally compatible 396-car parking structure to minimize the need for students to park in the adjacent residential neighborhood. The building also houses a state-of-the art earthquake simulator, one of only two of its kind on the East Coast.
The building’s form is defined by two, three-story bars; one containing classrooms and labs, the other offices. The two bars are connected by a sky-lit atrium which runs the entire length of the building, creating an internal “street” where students and faculty can gather and learn outside the classroom. The “street” features: lounges, an information kiosk, departmental “store fronts,” access to academic studio spaces, and a gallery space for display of student work.
As a school of design, CBEIS demonstrates the University’s commitment to sustainability. Extensive day-lighting studies were conducted resulting in all regularly occupied spaces being naturally illuminated during the day. The project is planned to receive LEED Gold Certification. Photovoltaic cells on the roof and in the curtainwall, a greywater and rainwater harvesting system in the lower level, and highly efficient heating and cooling systems are only a few of the sustainable features.