owen hall ENTRY plazaS
Civil Engineer: Bledsoe Riggert Cooper James
In 2016, the Owen Hall building on the Bloomington Campus was updated to be the new home of the College of Arts and Sciences. As a result of a semester long, interdisciplinary student project, it was determined that the building needed to have a new identity. Anderson + Bohlander was commissioned to lead a design effort to take student-developed ideas for two new spaces - a South Entry and North Entry Plaza - and turn them into unique, professionally designed spaces. The design of the North Entry Plaza converts the rear entrance from an area previously used for service and trash collection into a new plaza elevated from the adjacent campus raod, and a new set of stairs and ramps gives the building a formal presence on Kirkwood Avenue similar in character to other important university buildings in the area. The college’s mission statement is “Question Critically, Think Logically, Communicate Clearly, Act Creatively, and Live Ethically.” This theme is captured in stainless lettering set into limestone bands that align, and etched into the back of custom limestone bench that wraps the entry plaza created on the south side of the building as well. A muted landscape palette, in keeping with the existing Dunn’s Woods setting, helps to balance the material palette of traditional red brick and limestone pavers. One of the highlights of the space is a crushed stone seating area with embedded trees and movable tables and chairs for informal gatherings or organized classroom activities.