MITCHELL HALL

Location:  Syracuse, NY

Completed:  August 2014

Program:  Classrooms, Meeting rooms, Offices, Multi-Purpose Spaces

Construction Type:  Renovation

The Madden School of Business developed from a master plan vision to establish a visible program home on the Lemoyne campus. Exploring multiple viable new space alternatives, it was determined that the most sustainable solution was to reconfigure an existing building.  That building was the originally constructed Jesuit Residence known as Mitchell Hall that was built in 1957.  Challenges to the design team were numerous and included how best to re-purpose a concrete frame, low floor-to-floor height “bunker –style” residence hall into a high tech academic institution.  The resulting design creates a modern face and incredible interior educational environment, for students and staff that strongly support the mission of the school in “preparing students for meaningful and productive careers as managers and professionals.”

As a significant academic program at Lemoyne College, Mitchell Hall anchors prominently the east end of the campus mall. Entering through the main portal visitors are greeted by a dynamic interior of wood panels and aluminum accents complimented with a “stock ticker ribbon display.”  The ribbon display leads the visual sequence directly into the fully functional “trading room” academic space that is the showcase of the business program.  The room is designed with flexible furniture and technology that can be moved to allow for a number of teaching and collaboration styles while also serving as a visual cue to the days trading activities.

Daylighting strategies including borrowed light were extensively employed to reduce energy use and allow a greater connection to the outside environment for spaces without windows.  The collaboration areas internal to the second level, makes use of the curtain-wall glazing and corridor wall transparency to allow light to penetrate deeper into the building. The extreme challenge of dealing with low floor-to-floor heights (10’-8” first floor and 8’-6” upper floors) was resolved through creating zones of ceiling “clouds” to hide infrastructure while at the same time allowing the natural concrete structure to “shine” through and provide maximum ceiling height, proportion, and comfort.

The completed project, renovated through multiple phases over the course of two summers, has become a coveted academic building on campus. From the informal gathering spaces for students and teachers, to the trademark trading room, the Mitchell Hall renovation project has truly lived up to the goal of providing an inspirational home for the Lemoyne College Madden School of Business.