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Integrated Sciences Building

Kent State University
A series of building renovations and additions reflects Kent State University’s commitment to modern scientific education.
Day-lit atrium has become the heart of the Integrated Sciences Building at Kent State University
Kent, OH
New: 75,000 GSF
Renovation: 105,000 GSF
LEED Silver

A trio of 1960s Brutalist buildings on the Kent State campus – Cunningham Hall, Smith Hall, and Williams Hall – underwent renovations to improve accessibility, address deferred maintenance, and support the University’s commitment to new pedagogies and curricula in the sciences. During a series of occupied, phased renovations, the concrete-heavy buildings were opened, increasing access to natural light and enhancing views into classrooms and gathering spaces. Bold interior material choices and a signature color palette lend a unified and cohesive design throughout the three buildings. Adjoining Williams Hall, a new three-story Integrated Sciences Building capped the final phase of construction.

Historic image of Williams Hall at Kent State University The new Integrated Sciences Building adjacent to Williams Hall at Kent State University

The existing solid, inward-facing buildings were transformed into open, transparent, outward-looking buildings that leverage their proximity to the heart of campus.

Previous study area in Williams Hall at Kent State University Renovated study area in the Integrated Sciences Building at Kent State University

Brutalist renovations 

The existing buildings — Cunningham Hall, Smith Hall and Williams Hall — had seen little change since their initial construction. After an analysis of programmatic needs, the project included extensive interior renovations and mechanical system updates, as well as improvements to the concrete, masonry, and windows. Material choices, including railings, floor materials, signature pops of color, and hickory paneling, create a cohesive design language throughout the three buildings.

Defining the Precinct

The consistent use of materials creates a seamless transition between old and new and defines the precinct as a science hub. Sun shading built into the facades proportioning and patterning minimizes solar heat and glare for this LEED Silver certified building.



AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design Awards Honorable Mention
Payto Architects - Associate Architect
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