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School of Business names architect for new building

Monday, June 03, 2013

LAWRENCE — A committee has selected the architecture team for the new School of Business building at the University of Kansas.

Gensler, a Chicago-based global architecture, design and planning firm, will serve as the project’s design architect with Gastinger Walker Harden + Bee Triplett Buck (GWH+BTB), of Kansas City, Mo., as the local partner.

“The Gensler team was chosen for its depth of work in higher education facilities and creative solutions to learning spaces,” said Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the School of Business. “The committee was swayed by its impressive personnel and cohesive relationship with the local architectural firm, and we’re confident that the team will help us create one of the top business school facilities in the country.”

The two firms will collaborate on the project, from design development to construction administration, serving as a team effort with both local knowledge and global experience in higher education. Gensler will hold primary responsibility for the new building’s design and conceptualization, and GWH+BTB will oversee implementation.

The Gensler team brings a wealth of experience in higher education to the new building project, including work with business schools at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Houston, University of Nebraska and Duke University. Both firms have worked extensively with education clients across the country, notably Arizona State University, Harvard University, Ohio State University and University of Chicago.

“It was a difficult decision to make, given the highly qualified firms we interviewed,” Bendapudi said. “I am grateful to the selection committee for its invaluable contributions to this effort.”

The selection committee comprised key figures from the university, including Jim Modig, university architect and director of design and construction management; Tracy Horstman, assistant vice provost for capital planning and space management; John Gaunt, dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Planning; and Bendapudi.

Committee members considered five national firms, each with a local partner, to spearhead the project. As soon as contracts are finalized, Gensler will work with the university on the project’s design and implementation.

KU Endowment is working with alumni and friends to complete private funding for the building, which is expected to cost approximately $60 million. The six-story, 166,000-square-foot building will be located on the east side of Naismith Drive, across from Allen Fieldhouse at the south entrance of campus.


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