Towson University in Northeastern Maryland Academic Center -- Bel Air, Maryland

55,000 SF | 200-seat auditorium | flexible classrooms | learning commons | group study rooms | biology labs | clinical nursing labs | café | computer labs | faculty offices | collaboration studio | LEED Silver
The LEED Silver certified Towson University Academic Center is a classroom facility integrating alternative learning and social environments within the formal classroom program spaces of the building. Structured on the realization that much of contemporary learning is social and collaborative, the academic center is focused on a central learning commons. Inspired by the powerful rural landscape of the site, the academic center is designed as a 'learning garden'. Two masonry wings are lodged into the slope as rock formations creating a central commons between them. The central commons is an extension of the sloping meadow with terraced green roof gardens above. This sustainably designed space is visually and physically connected to the land and makes the academic center inextricably tied to its location. The project was realized in collaboration with Architect-of-Record GWWO, Inc.