Muntz Hall was built in 1967 and is the primary academic and faculty building on the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash satellite campus. The design for the 136,566 sf renovation allows for modern and flexible teaching practices while also ensuring that the Hall remains flexible and serviceable for decades to come. The goal of the project was to create an interior experience that rivals the main campus’ signature architecture for less cost.
The designers created a spatially optimal visual platform where the classrooms are appropriately sized and better aligned to accommodate modern teaching programs. This data-backed, visual evidence caused the facilities team and the Dean to retract an already-planned 20,000 sf addition.
The designers held student and professor feedback sessions (live and digital) to better learn branch campus culture; transparency and interaction themes reigned.
Dark, enclosed academic and office spaces became visually open and transparent. New windows with sun shades were cut into the exterior bringing daylight and view to uninspiring rooms. Efficiency rose 60.1% by improved insulation, new windows, LED lighting and geowells – a first for the University on any campus.
The design facilitates today’s integrated learning and student culture with state-of-the-art learning labs with today’s technology with flexibility for the unknown. Special attention was given to corridor design as student study or interaction space.
Spaces include a mix of active learning and traditional classrooms, physics and learning labs, private faculty and open office space, academic student services offices, open lounge and meeting spaces, break rooms, and student life areas.
The work is phased over a 4-5-year period to accommodate continued occupancy and use of the building.