The award-winning Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS) at Morgan State University was conceived as a place of collaborative learning and research for the School of Architecture and Planning, the Department of Civil Engineering, and the Institute of Transportation Studies. The 126,000 sf building supports the instructional and research programs of Morgan State University which address the physical aspects of the environment.
The building opened in July of 2012 and contributes to the university’s overall institutional environment with an expanded number of shared facilities. CBEIS has 32 classrooms/labs/seminar rooms, 88 offices, and three department offices. By housing multiple design and engineering disciplines under one roof, CBEIS promotes interactivity among students and faculty from the School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Civil Engineering, and Institute of Transportation.
To promote collaborative engagement, two horizontal bars bound a sky-lit atrium that runs the length of the building, creating an internal street where programs mix, student vitality is expressed, and social spaces meet learning environments. The “street” features a café, lounges, information kiosk, departmental “store fronts”, visual connections to academic studio spaces, and a gallery-like space for the interactivity of people and display of their work.
CBEIS received the Public Building of Year of Award from AIA Maryland on September 12, 2013 and was recognized by ULI Baltimore’s Wavemaker awards. “The building’s simplicity, deliberate restraint, and strategic fenestration strengthen and enhance the design while providing a successful platform for a sustainable public structure.” – Robert Maschke, FAIA
The design of CBEIS led to a research collaboration between Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning and Hord Coplan Macht. The team won an AIA Upjohn research grant to study the contribution of the learning space to enhanced learning outcomes of diverse students in an active learning classroom. This is first time diverse students have been the subject of learning spaces research.
CBIES received LEED Gold Certification in July of 2014. It has been honored with the First Annual Design Award for Excellence in Environmentally Sustainable Design from the American Institute of Architects Baltimore Chapter. This award is intended to recognize excellence in sustainable design in projects that conserve resources, preserve ecosystems, optimize comfort, and reduce environmental impact through high performance, integrated and innovative design concern for unique cultural heritage, and affordability.
“The aesthetic result of the sustainable strategies is commendable; the shading devices on the primary facade – simple, direct and elegant work functionally and symbolically for the stated program.” – John Kelleher, AIA
This project was designed in collaboration with the Freelon Group, now a part of Perkins & Will.