Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis has grown significantly since its founding in 1917, and since 1980, the numbers of undergraduate and graduate business students have both more than doubled.
Completed in April, this major $90 million expansion project nearly doubles the business school’s footprint on the campus to 175,000 square feet.
Danforth Campus, Washington University’s main campus, was designed by Cope and Stewardson in the Collegiate Gothic style and began construction in 1900. Nineteen of its existing buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are known collectively as the Danforth Campus Historic District.While respecting the school’s cherished historic core, the project introduces a new contemporary sensibility.
Constructed adjacent to the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center, Knight Hall and Bauer Hall occupy the former site of Eliot Hall, a Brutalist-style structure from the 1970s that was one of the few buildings on campus not built in the Gothic Revival style.
MRY designed Knight Hall and Bauer Hall to complement the Gothic Revival structures of the historic campus while introducing contemporary levels of daylight and transparency.
While each has its own grand entryway and distinctive form, the two structures are united by a soaring glass atrium. A generously sized central staircase encourages interaction, provides views diagonally up and down to other floors, and brings daylight to the lower level.
The building’s include seven classrooms, an auditorium, 75 faculty offices, and numerous forums, lounges, offices, and other spaces for interaction and collaboration.
The two-story atrium has become a true social hub, with tables and seating scattered throughout. The distinctive red scoop chairs are KURVE Lounge Seating from Martin Brattrud. The project is targeting LEED Gold.