Location: Midland, Michigan
Northwood University wished to create a signature building for its business graduate programs at both masters and doctoral levels to increase presence and expand offerings. Site selection studies place the 27,500 square foot building on a prominent site that allows for measured harvesting of trees and for the building to be a high-profile beacon at a major campus gateway. The building design focuses on the prominent northwest corner. The corner massing, open and glassy, is angled out to highlight the break-out rooms and the upper level computer lab as spaces central to the education delivery method. During evening use, the corner will create a receptive “glow” as guests arrive on campus. Designed to model a modern workplace, new flexible classrooms will support and expand opportunities for students and instructors to maximize their effectiveness and quality of education. Large classroom spaces feature chairs on wheels, movable walls and “break-out” spaces. An open design between the first and second levels, washed with natural light, and common spaces create a welcoming environment and encourage informal interaction. The building also houses over twenty offices for the graduate school’s faculty and administrative staff. Northwood University is committed to the wise use of resources, sustainable design principles, lean management, energy-efficiency and environmental stewardship. The building is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, utilizing the latest technologies in energy-efficient and cost-effective materials and systems. TowerPinkster and Triangle Construction collaborated in order to turn the project around on a tight schedule. After the May 2015 groundbreaking, the project finished under budget in under a year in order to allow faculty, staff and students to begin using the facility in May of 2016.