GUND Holiday Card Makes Architect Magazine's Best Cards List

GUND Partnership's holiday card (left) made Architect Magazine's list of "Best Holiday Cards." Follow the link and scroll down to see a detail of GUND's card, which is shaped like a holiday sweater and laser cut to show recent GUND projects.

GUND's Laser-Cut Card -- A Holiday Tradition

Every year, GUND Partnership celebrates the holidays by creating a laser-cut card and sending it to the firm's clients, collaborators and friends. Every year is a different theme, and etched into the card are not only greetings but images of GUND's latest projects. This year, the theme is a "Holiday Sweater" (upper image) and its surface shows projects like the Oeschle Center for Global Education at Lafayette College, the new performing arts center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Quadrivium at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, the Westminster School dining hall in Simsbury, CT and the Inn at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. Above is a group of "GUND Elves" folding, assembling and stuffing the cards into envelopes, which are going out this week. Happy Holidays from GUND Partnership!

JMU Duke Hall Featured in ASU's 2015 Architectural Portfolio

American School and University (ASU) has just published its 2015 Architectural Portfolio, and GUND's James Madison University Duke Hall is honored in the issue with a Citation for Adaptive Reuse excellence.Follow this link to view the JMU page and the entire November issue. GUND was design architect in collaboration with Clark Nexsen as Architect of Record. The jury praised the architects' "skillfull use of daylight in a repurposed building,"

GUND Partnership's Graham Gund, FAIA, LEED AP, Dan Rutledge, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C and Yoo Jin Chung, AIA, LEED AP were key leaders in the JMU project. Contact Graham Dan or Yoo Jin for more information.

SCU Featured in Prestigious Cornell Publication

The Service Credit Union International Headquarters in Portsmouth, NH, designed by GUND Partnership, is featured in the current issue of Association, the official review of the Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning. Association 7 is less a typical book than a beautifully rendered portfolio, each project from a student, faculty, or alumni accorded a single page, front and back. The pages are packaged in a sturdy black box that opens on a diagonal. John Prokos, FAIA, GUND's Managing Principal and Cornell alumnus, is credited as the principal in charge of the SCU project, which was completed in 2012.

James Madison University Duke Hall Wins Another Award
Duke Hall James Madison University

Duke Hall (above) at James Madison University, designed by GUND Partnership in association with Clark Nexsen, has won another award. On Oct. 15, the building was honored by the Hampton Roads, VA Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which conferred on it a Merit Award for Architecture in the Additions/Renovations category. In September, Duke Hall won a citation in American School & University's 2015 Architectural Portfolio for excellence in adaptive reuse. It is only one of two buildings so honored in this category. The jury commented on the architects' "skillful use of daylight in a repurposed building." The Duke Hall project, completed in 2014, transformed a 1960s era building originally intended for the performing arts into a thriving visual arts complex complete with exhibition galleries and the latest in studio art safety protocols. It has since its opening become one of the favorite event venues at the Virginia university, located in Harrisonburg. The entire AS&U portfolio can be viewed at All of the winners will featured in the magazine's November issue.

GUND Partnership's Graham Gund, FAIA, LEED AP, and Dan Rutledge, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C were key leaders in the JMU project. Contact Graham or Dan for more information.

Kenyon Athletic Center No. 1 -- Two Years in a Row!

The Kenyon College Athletic Center (KAC), designed by GUND Partnership, has for the second year in a row been named the "Best Athletic Facility" among colleges and universities nationwide by the prestigeous Princeton Review. This is the second year in a row for the building to be so honored. The 263,000 SF center is located below the primary ridge of the historic campus on a flat and grassy flood plain. This evocative landscape became the primary motivation for the building's dramatic massing -- a simple, arched shed like volume in which the roof is supported by white steel trusses and appears to float above the grassland. The varied program includes a pool, squash courts, a theater and film library, study lounges, weight room, a fieldhouse/running track, training rooms and various offices. The building was completed in 2005 and has also won three awards for design excellence. In a cover story upon its opening, the Chronicle of Higher Education called the KAC "a wonder of modern design in the heartland."

Graham Gund, Dan Rutledge and David Zenk were the chief architects of the Kenyon Athletic Center. For more information contact Graham, Dan, or David

Hill School Gets $5 Million Donation Toward Quadrivium

According to an article in American School and University Magazine, retired Microsoft Executive Jon Shirley, a graduate of the Hill School, has donated $5 million toward the construction of The Hill's Quadrivium, a STEAM building being designed now by GUND Partnership. Another article in the local newspaper includes a sketch of the proposed building. The Quadrivium will become the nucleus of science, math, technology, engineering and design on The Hill Campus. The name "Quadrivium" is a nod to Plato's ideal combination and integration of studies in science, math, engineering and the arts.

Sketch of the Quadrivium's exterior view.

Meng Howe Lim, AIA, LEED AP, and Christine Verbitzki, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C are key leaders in the The Hill Quadrivium project. Contact Meng or Christine for more information.

Columbus, OH, Site of Major GUND Library Projects, Chosen as IFLA Host

For the first time in 15 years, an American city has been chosen as the venue for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), to be held in August 2016 in Columbus, OH. Columbus is the site of two major GUND Partnership library projects: The expansion of the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library at Ohio State University, and the new Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch in downtown Columbus. Click here for more information on the Congress.

Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch (above) is undergoing a complete redesign to accommodate 21st Century digital learning while reconnecting the physical building to its park-like surroundings. Expected to be completed by the time of the Congress, this reborn civic gem of a building will undoubtedly be on the visit agenda for participants in the Congress.

Meanwhile at the nearby William Oxley Thompson Library (above) at The Ohio State University, congress attendees will be given a tour of how the entire library was reconceived as a new center of learning on campus, complete with socializing areas and a dramatic new atrium that displays the book collection stacks behind a glass tower as natural light pours into the space.

GUND Partnership's David Zenk, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C and Christine Verbitzki, AIA, LEED AP are key leaders in the Columbus Metropolitan Library project. Contact David or Christine for more information. 

Historic 47 Thorndike Street Unveils Renovated Cupola
47 Thorndike Street at Bulfinch Square, the historic former Middlesex County Courthouse building that is home to GUND Partnership, recently completed a renovation of the building's iconic cupola. The bell tower has been shrouded in scaffolding for most of the winter as workers strengthened and repainted the structure's base, repaired its four-face clock and replaced the gold leaf on the dome. The work has been done just in time for the building, which was slated for demolition in the 1970s, to celebrate its 200th Anniversary.
According to the Cambridge Historical Society, the building was designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, also architect of the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill, and built between 1814 and 1816. The original building was stucco and did not have the cupola. A subsequent enlargement in the mid-1800s refaced the building in brick, added the tower and the two large wings that once housed the courtrooms and now accommodate GUND's two architecture studios. The courthouse is now a part of an urban ensemble known as Bulfinch Square, which includes several other historic buildings and a small park. In addition to being designed by Bulfinch, 47 Thorndike Street was the venue for the trial of the infamous "Boston Strangler" Albert DeSalvo in the mid-1960s.
Graham Gund Quoted in Boston Globe on Churches Being Converted to Residences
Graham Gund, FAIA, LEED AP was quoted in the April 20 edition of the Boston Globe on the converting of church buildings into residential complexes. GUND Partnership was the architect of Church Court in Boston's Back Bay, an acclaimed adaptive reuse of a church that was honored with the Harleston Parker Medal, conferred each year by the Boston Society of Architects for the "Most Beautiful Building in Greater Boston." Click for the on-line link
GUND's Christine Verbitzki Chairs Prestigious AIA/ALA Library Awards Jury
GUND Senior Associate Christine Verbitzki, AIA, LEED AP, chaired the jury for the prestigious bi-annual AIA/ALA Library Building Awards, whose winners were announced last week. The awards are sponsored jointly by the American Institute of Architects and American Library Association. This year's winners include Cedar Rapids Public Public Library; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Library; Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center, Little Rock, AR; Mission Branch Library, San Antonio; the Slover Library, Norfolk, VA; and the Vancouver Community Library, Vancouver, WA. See link at right to the AIA Website for full details on the awards.AIA Pressroom
Center for Global Education Opens at Lafayette College
Exterior view of the Oechsle Center for Global Education.

The Oechsle Center for Global Education at Lafayette College, designed by GUND Partnership, was officially dedicated on Friday, March 27. The Center brings Lafayette closer to its institutional goal of incorporating a global perspective into every student’s educational experience. Innovative signature spaces like the Global Studio and Global Salon provide a backdrop for studying International Affairs, Africana Studies and programs in Anthropology and Sociology, among many other subjects. The Center was funded by Lafayette alumnus and Trustee Emeritus Walter Oechsle, class of 1957, who himself is a leading authority on international money management, having served as president and chief investment officer of Putnam International Advisors.

The building’s central stairway and a portion of the “Global Wooden Wall” to the right.

The Center establishes global education as a symbol of academic innovation and curricular relevance, and its architecture and interiors support this pedagogical goal. It is envisioned as a 24-hour campus hub that fosters interdisciplinary interactions and learning while containing flexible, timeless academic spaces that can be easily altered to fit the learning plan for the day. The interiors, especially, are conducive not only to cross-pollination of ideas but to varied space needs, with movable walls and furniture. A Global Salon, for example, is conceived as a hybrid lounge, library study, and event space. The exterior forms a point of mediation between Lafayette and the wider Easton community beyond. It is elongated along the East/West Axis while having major fenestration along the North and South facades. A glass atrium, conceived as part of the larger campus pathways, joins two wings and the building’s massing and scale are broken up by use of perpendicular gables and dormer-like windows on the third level.

Attending the gala opening of the Center were, from left, GUND Managing Principal John Prokos; GUND Associate Holly Miller; Lafayette College President Alison Bylerly, Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Mary Wilford-Hunt; and Stephen Jensen, husband of President Byerly.

A rich and lively use of materials celebrates the building’s dual local and global identities. The exterior granite is quarried regionally and is a lively and elegant gray hue with varied highlights of tan and blue. Its ashlar pattern ties it to Lafayette College building traditions and provides visual interest, both close up and from a distance. Inside, several “Global Wood Walls” celebrate the Center’s audacious global aspirations. The reclaimed wood is used based on the population of each continent. For example, Asian wood represents 50% of the total, while North America represents only 7.9% and Oceania only .5%. The wood was reclaimed from sources as diverse as shipping pallets, winery casks and rail yards. Wendy Wilson-Fall, a Lafayette Associate Professor and Chair of the Africana Studies department, gave an invocation at the building’s inauguration that included the following: “I wanted to say something intelligent and beautiful, like the design of this building. I thought I should say something graceful, with depth and complexity, like the building itself . . . we find our new environment pleasing to the eye, inspiring, and very much suited to learning, teaching, and the dynamic exchange of ideas.”

GUND Partnership's Holly Miller, AIA, LEED AP, and Sarah Roszler, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C are key leaders in the Lafayette OCGE project. Contact Holly or Sarah for more information.

A Sound Value: Hobart and William Smith Colleges' PAC
Main building facade under construction

The performing arts center (PAC) for Hobart and William Smith Colleges, designed by GUND Partnership, is about 6 months from its expected completion date, but is already achieving notice in higher education theater circles for its sophisticated acoustical profile and comparatively low $360 per square foot construction cost. Because they require such complex construction details and multiple consultants, per square footage costs for collegiate performing arts centers usually hover around $450 to $500 per square foot, according to College Planning & Management magazine (2014 figures, most recent available). GUND designed the spaces in collaboration with Theatre Consultants Collaborative (TCC) as theater design consultants and Jaffee Holden as acoustical consultants. According to Meng Howe Lim, associate at GUND and project architect for the PAC, several acoustical approaches in the building are innovative but cost-effective. For example, in the wing of the building that contains individual rehearsal spaces, double floor slabs and a system of roll-out kinetic sound control material prevent rehearsals from disturbing each other or the performance spaces below. In the ensemble room, a series of curved suspended wooden ceiling panels reflect and diffuse the sound in order to create the right reverberation for rehearsals and practice and promote an environment conducive to learning. In the nearby film screening room, speakers have strong sound absorption qualities for the proper controlled sound delivery. Finally, the choral space has stepped ceiling panels to project sound upward into the space while also featuring controllable drapes that can be configured for different needs in the room like piano recitals. “Because of efficiencies in the design and construction process, we were able to preserve many of the acoustical features which might otherwise have been value engineered out of the project,” Meng says.

Interior view of building's sky-lit Tower

Christopher Button, who oversees all planning, design and construction activities for Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is keeping a colorful and highly readable blog about the project: HWS Home. The blog site includes weekly updates of construction shots and interesting commentary from Chris about progress and challenges at the HWS PAC building site.

GUND Partnership's Meng Howe Lim, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C and Marissa Desmond, AIA are key leaders in the HWS PAC project. Contact Meng or Marissa for more information.

Rutledge Presents at Mid-Atlantic SCUP Conference
Main central atrium of Duke Hall
GUND Partnership's Dan Rutledge, AIA, LEED AP presented at the recent Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Mid-Atlantic conference in Norfolk, VA on March 10. The topic of the discussion was the recently completed renovation of and addition to Duke Hall at James Madison University for the School of Art, Design and Art History. Appropriate for the theme of the conference, which was "Planning for Change: Cultural, Technological and Economic Shifts in Higher Education," Rutledge, architects from the partner firm Clark Nexsen, and faculty from JMU presented a talk entitled "Art and Design Education as a Vehicle for Community Involvement." The 1960s era Duke Hall, originally accommodating all of the university's arts programs, was completely renovated and expanded to meet 21st Century standards for studio arts, design and art history classes. Its soaring central hall (above) and adjacent Fine Arts Gallery have already become favored venues on the Harrisonburg, Virginia campus for student and faculty events, especially art exhibitions.
GUND Senior Associate Dan Rutledge, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C was project manager for the Duke Hall commission. Contact Dan for more information.
Penn State's New HUB-Robeson Center Opens
Main atrium at new HUB-Robeson Center

The newly expanded Hetzel Union Building (HUB) - Robeson Center at The Pennsylvania State University, designed by GUND Partnership, was officially inaugurated on March 2. The main student union at the large university, the building represents a tremendous investment in Student Life on the part of Penn State, providing added meeting spaces for student organizations, expanded dining seating, lounge and study areas, while offering such amenities such as a renovated bookstore, new food offerings, student services, banking, flexible theater, radio station, a computer bar and other digital media resources. Architecturally, the building is a transformation of the existing HUB, adding 55,000 SF and including a 52,000 SF renovation of the existing structure. It has a dramatic undulating glass-and-steel canopy over the main gathering space, and in the spring will feature a green roof. "The whole expansion is awesome," commented student Amy Tizio as quoted in the Penn State student newspaper. "I love the openness and community feeling."

GUND Principal David Zenk, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C was a key leader in the Penn State HUB project. Contact David for more information.