Academic Projects

Our academic work builds upon the projects we have executed for various colleges, universities, and private schools.

Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center at Brown University, Schwartz/Silver Architects.

Brown University Office Lobby Providence RI
Brown University Center for Mindfulness Providence RI
Brown University Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center Providence RI *
Cornell University Kimball Hall Renovation Ithaca NY *
Cornell University Olin Hall UO Lab Ithaca NY
Dana Hall School Student Center Wellesley MA *
K-8 School Gymnasium with Studio Bondy Architecture, East Palo Alto CA
Live Oak School Recreation Space San Francisco CA *
Marin Academy Athletic Field Renovation Marin CA *
Sacramento Country Day School White Rock Campus Masterplan Sacramento CA *
Silicon Valley Preschool Campus San Jose CA *
Williams College Science Center Expansion Williamstown MA *

These projects range from strategic interior renovations that transform how a department teaches to new buildings that reconfigure part of the campus. Through our experience we have found key aspects of academic projects that serve to guide our design process.

Academic projects inherently must synthesize the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders. We rely upon the input of multiple user groups including the faculty, students, and staff coupled with the goals of the facilities management team and administration to create a cohesive project through the visioning, programming, and master planning exercises that we lead.  This idea of synthesis is also true in the final design of the spaces, as academic projects must serve multiple uses and entities in their daily use and be responsive to many needs.

In our designs for academic environments, the process includes strategizing for how to best work within the academic schedule, be it through designing the project so that it can be a “summer slammer”, to creating early release documents so that key parts of the work can get started early, to configuring the project so that it is phased to enable future components.  The ability to fit a project into the academic calendar in an intelligent way is often a major component of its success.

Academic projects are always a part of the whole, and new projects must integrate with the existing systems and standards in the building and/or campus.  We work closely with the various facility departments, vendors, and our engineering teams to ensure the integration of these systems into the design documents.  We also collaborate with the project management group to develop a system of review and comment by the facilities groups of interim design phases to allow for clear communication as the design develops.

Academic projects, no matter what scale, impact how teaching, researching, and working can occur successfully. We relish bringing our skills as architects and designers to contribute to the academic community in this way.

* Project executed by one of our principals while working at another firm.