VMA Business Innovation Building Bethlehem, Lehigh University, Asa Packer campus Pennsylvania news, American university architecture images
Business Innovation Building, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA
October 25, 2023
Location: Asa Packer campus, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
Photos by Jeffrey Totaro
Business Innovation Building at Lehigh University
VMA’s newly-completed Business Innovation Building on Lehigh University’s Asa Packer campus is now open. Designed with flexibility and technological readiness in mind, the $35 million project enables Lehigh’s College of Business to prepare students for real-world exchange and collaboration.
With the growth and expansion of Lehigh’s business programs, the school initially engaged VMA to conduct a feasibility study for the renovation of the existing Rauch Business Center and the construction of a new building catty-corner from Rauch. Going ahead with the design of the new Business Innovation Building, the school now supports a wider range of pedagogy and has provided a permanent home for the College of Business’ Vistex Institute for Executive Education, a signature program.
Built on a former parking lot, the 74,000 square foot, 3 storey Business Innovation Building houses 4 floors of student spaces, market research and computer labs, faculty offices, conference rooms, and video-ready, technology-equipped classrooms for remote, hybrid, and in-person classes.
The building has a dedicated suite for the College’s Executive Education program. The 3-floor suite includes a reception area, lounge, and outdoor terrace, which allows it to double as an event space. It provides the College with 16 additional teaching spaces for its undergraduate and graduate programs and houses the Lehigh Ventures Lab, a business incubator for early-stage entrepreneurs.
Lehigh’s Business Innovation Building is designed with a greater degree of technology than a typical college building. The Bosland Financial Services Lab on the first floor features a 6 foot by 20 foot LED display that can view multiple sources simultaneously. Specialized learning environments include a television studio and a one-touch video recording studio where students can practice for job interviews and professors can record lectures.
VMA designed the building with multiple open spaces for students to gather and build a sense of community. The building’s lobby, which can fit 200 people, features a granite floor, high ceilings, and glass walls that allow for well-lit, full-height views of the campus, as well as views into other rooms inside. Its facade features fritted glass and automatic sensors that raise and lower shades according to the amount of direct sunshine. An interactive touch display in the lobby highlights key moments from the school’s history, as well as notable alumni.
In keeping with Lehigh’s belief in putting students at the center, every space in the building is designed to provide enhanced opportunities for creativity and adaptability. Hybrid teaching equipped-classrooms feature advanced camera and sound systems that can record both lectures and student reactions. Students can rearrange movable desks and modular furniture to best suit their needs and interact in different ways. They can also connect to monitors in the classrooms that allow them to work as small, independent teams.
One “in the round” lecture hall is designed to mimic the typical environments of corporate America. It seats students in a full circle, with a podium-less space in the center for a professor to participate in the lesson, rather than lead it. Four LED arrays hanging above ensure all seats have visibility to the screens.
Coaching spaces and mock interview rooms present additional opportunities for faculty and students to work together and build the interpersonal, collaborative, and discovery-based skillset needed for business in the 21st century. A pitch room provides dedicated space for students to practice pitching their ideas, while a business communications suite allows students to learn how to write professionally and build their interview and communications skills.
VMA completed the landscape design in association with Stimson Associates. The building is slated to be LEED Gold certified.
Business Innovation Building at Lehigh University, USA – Building Information
Architects: VMA- https://voithandmactavish.com//a>
Voith and Mactavish Architects is a Philadelphia-based architecture firm best known for its expertise in historical preservation and restoration as well as the design of award-winning educational campus environments. Led by Daniela Holt Voith, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, ASID, who is currently President of the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art – Philadelphia Chapter; Director of the Carpenter’s Company of Philadelphia; and Board Member of the Design Leadership Foundation, VMA’s design philosophy is rooted in contemporary and technology-forward response to context and tradition.
Photography: Jeffrey Totaro
Business Innovation Building at Lehigh University, USA images / information received 130823
Address: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
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