Towson University Academic Center
Bel Air, MD
- ikon.5 architects
- Bel Air, MD
- 2012 Area
300 car parking, 120 seat auditorium, 20/30/60 seat classrooms, Break out rooms, Collaboration studios, Learning commons, Wet labs, Clinical Nursing Labs, Faculty offices, Café, Commons
Integrating the building experience with the power of the rural landscape reminds the students of their context and builds on the natural attributes of the rural setting. Every major program space in the building is organized to have view and physical connection to the rolling meadow of this northeast Maryland site. Bifurcating the building’s organization into two halves allows the central space between the two halves, which programmatically houses social collaborative learning spaces, to be an extension of the adjacent rolling meadows. The collaborative common spaces internally terrace up the building as a natural extension of the ground plane and give broad panoramic views of the countryside from every adjacent space. In this way, the landscape is integrated into the daily experiences of the students and staff and enhances their sense of place and identity. Accordingly, natural daylight is delivered deep within the building and further creates a sustainable and productive environment. Other sustainable approaches that assist in this building achieving a LEED Silver certification are: the exterior enclosure is a ventilated cement board rain screen system incorporating a solar shade on the south and west facades. The cement board is made of recyclable materials and the integrated solar shade assist reducing solar gain in the summer months. On the west side, ceramic fritted glass and vertical fins are included to permit the magnificent views west and reduce solar gain and glare. Minimal disturbance to the land, bio retention systems, orientation for solar harvesting and shading are some site features that help reduce the buildings footprint in the landscape.