Student center

BIG Wins Competition to Design University of Maryland Student Center

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has won an international competition to design the new student center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Images courtesy BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been selected as the designer for the new student center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, after a month-long international design competition led by a special advisory committee.

Students and staff were included in the process. More than 1,200 students, faculty, staff and alumni responded to a June survey, inviting ratings of the four design finalists. Feedback on BIG’s concept has been overwhelmingly positive, with survey respondents embracing the building’s open feel, connections to surrounding outdoor spaces, abundance of natural light, and built-in features that support BIG’s sustainability goals. the university. BIG has partnered with Shepley Bulfinch as the official architect, with Rockwell Group for the interior design and Michael Van Valkenburg Associates for the landscaping.

The approximately 13,935 m2 (150,000 square feet) will include spaces for relaxation and socializing, creative and performing arts, student resources and support services, lounges, a digital media center, a performance hall that can accommodate 200 people and a vibrant dining hall connecting directly to a new plaza along nearby Charles Street. The facility will address the long-recognized need for a true non-academic gathering place on the university’s Homewood campus.

The new student center is designed as a central living room surrounded by a set of spaces adapted to the needs of the community.
The new student center is designed as a central living room surrounded by a set of spaces adapted to the needs of the community.

Located just south of the open space on the Johns Hopkins campus known as “The Beach”, the facility aims to foster greater connectivity between the campus and the nearby community of Charles Village by creating a new focal point. important and welcoming entrance. It will transform an area of ​​the campus into a dynamic center at the crossroads of student activities. As a natural gateway, the area will connect Charles Village and the more than 3,500 Hopkins students who live in the neighborhood, to the heart of the Homewood campus.

The village is designed as a central living room surrounded by a set of spaces adapted to the needs of the Hopkins community. The building negotiates the slope of the site to allow direct entry from all four levels of the building, while maintaining a human scale and providing multiple accessible routes through the site. Arriving on Charles Street, students and visitors are greeted by an open building facade with dining halls spilling out into a sunny plaza.

The entrance to the village opens onto a cascading interior landscape of dining, entertainment, relaxation and socializing. The solid wood structure provides a warm and acoustically comfortable environment as light filters between the roof’s photovoltaic (PV) panels, features that help meet the university’s broader sustainability goals.

An interior landscape, as vast as the Beach next door, consists of a set of modular spaces, which open onto four rejuvenated public spaces: an event common, the shaded paths of the grove, an entrance esplanade at 33rd street, and a new food market and plaza to the south. Homewood Campus’s signature red brick walkways run seamlessly through the building.

The village transforms the landscape around the building to create outdoor spaces for student activities and events. A central plaza can accommodate temporary exhibits or performances, as well as vendors and food trucks to liven up the North Charles Street corridor.

The open design allows light to stream in through the clerestory windows and leaves all student activity and school spirit on display. The village becomes an ever-changing mosaic of the Johns Hopkins community and a village greater than the sum of its parts.

The new Hopkins Student Center is expected to begin construction in spring 2022 and be completed by fall 2024.