Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Learning and business happen everywhere, not just in the classroom; and that’s just the way Davenport University’s faculty and staff envisioned the educational process at the new Donald W. Maine College of Business. Collaborative from the start, students and faculty had a hand in creating an environment that transcends traditional classroom learning into an education space that simulates today’s business offices. The building uses the design tenets found in progressive corporate environments such as natural light, flexibility and collaboration, and modularity to create energetic spaces that support the learning process.
The building features interactive classrooms with layouts that allow for reconfiguration and leverage modern furniture and technology to support traditional lecture style learning as well as interactive team learning. The building also can house up to three companies in DU’s business accelerator program within its Center for Entrepreneurship.
The heart of the building (the “HUB”) represents the building’s identity promoting community, impromptu interactions, and connectivity with varied seating, operable options, alternative classroom layouts, and a café. The atrium provides views to student controlled meeting enclaves, open offices for faculty, and outside to the University’s W.A. Lettinga Campus.
The adaptable classroom/educational spaces are filled with natural light, modern furniture and fixtures, and technology that can easily morph from class to class to support traditional lecture style learning as well as interactive team project efforts. Raised panel floors and removable walls throughout the building create options to change and grow as needed.
Classrooms are nimble and responsive with a variety of seating options, multiple teaching walls, and technology allowing for flexibility and instructor movement. Since instruction and learning are not always done in a typical classroom, students and instructors find alternatives in the Hub with open space areas loaded with movable furniture and technology to suit their group needs at any moment.