University of Michigan Ross School of BusinessCommunity Creation 2006-2008
Building the Learning Community of the Future

Building Design

The new structure will stand six stories tall at its center and three stories high around its perimeter along Tappan and Hill streets. Its exterior will be constructed of terra cotta walls with a sandstone base. Glass walls at the top stories of the building will provide panoramic views of the Michigan campus.

The building’s overall design is tailor-made to support the Ross School’s unique action-based learning curriculum and provide an environment that will nurture a cohesive community of faculty and students. Classrooms, offices and other spaces will be arranged in a setting conducive to promoting collaboration, and technology designed into the building will support interaction with organizations around the world.

Our plan is that the new building will be LEED certified. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Our goal is to make the best choices to achieve the highest environmentally sustainable impact within our budget. For example, green roofs on parts of the Ross campus will reduce storm water run-off and reduce heat gain.

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Main Entrance

The new facility will give the Ross School an architectural presence befitting its position as one of the nation’s top business schools, including a new main entrance located at the corner of Tappan and Monroe streets. The entrance design reflects the desire to be open and welcoming to the University community and provides a gateway to the business school campus in the form of a glassed-in Davidson Winter Garden—a bright, airy and highly visible community space containing an informal lounge, study areas and a café.

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View from Tappan Street

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Davidson Winter Garden

Immediately beyond the main entrance is the three-story, Davidson Winter Garden—an enclosed academic "town square" that brings people together and facilitates the gathering of the entire school community. Surrounding the Davidson Winter Garden will be programmatic components, including the Blau Auditorium, faculty offices and classrooms, encouraging interactions between teachers and learners. A glass ceiling will provide natural light and allow Michigan weather to be enjoyed from the warmth and comfort of this lively central location.

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Blau Auditorium

The 500-seat Blau Auditorium will have 300 seats on the main level and 200 in the balcony. In addition to creating an intimate space, this configuration will accommodate large and small audiences for events such as the welcoming of new students, major award ceremonies, lectures and graduation events. The Blau Auditorium will be equipped with the latest in presentation and communications technology.

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Colloquium and Gallery Area

The colloquium is an elegant rooftop meeting area with panoramic views of the campus. Entry is via the glass gallery area, the oblong glass structure on level six.

For events, it is an inviting space that will accommodate up to 400 guests and be available to host small dinner and luncheon gatherings. It will also be used for intellectual discourse regarding business and educational opportunities for Michigan students and a place to celebrate Michigan memories.

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Faculty Terrace

The faculty terrace will be a lovely outdoor space overlooking the corner of Hill and Tappan Streets. It will be located on the third floor adjacent to the William A. Paton Accounting Center Academic Suite and will be used to host small events. It also will provide a dedicated space for faculty members to mingle and share ideas.

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State-of-the-Art Tiered Classrooms

Classrooms will seat 85–95 students and will accommodate a high degree of student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction. Rooms will incorporate the latest technology, including audio-visual presentation equipment, video conferencing and wireless connectivity. The innovative design of these new classrooms will support our distinctive action-based learning strategy and will be geared to create the leaders of tomorrow.

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Student Group Study Rooms

Group study rooms will seat 6–10 and be clustered around classrooms for ease of access when formal classes break for small group discussions. Rooms will be wired for computers, flat screens, video conferencing and white boards. Students will use these mini-laboratories for research, to work on action-based projects and to design presentations. The approximately 42 student group study rooms will accommodate 75 percent of the student body at any given time and will be used extensively. Rooms will vary in size and location as design of the facility is completed.

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Casual Study Lounge

The casual study lounge is located on the lower level and offers students a place for study and reflection. Relaxed seating will give students a comfortable place to read.

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Fitness Center

Today’s corporate environment typically provides its employees onsite workout facilities. Students, faculty and staff at the Ross School of Business soon will be able to incorporate a healthy lifestyle with a top-notch education. Our fitness center will be fully furnished with exercise equipment, aerobic studios, and shower and changing rooms.

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