Oklahoma State University School of Business

Stillwater, OK The new landmark building for the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University provides students opportunities to think big, learn by doing, and show the world they take the academics of business seriously. It creates an identity and a unified space for the Spears School, which previously had faculty and staff spread across four buildings on the OSU campus. Students now have a cool place to hang out, meet their future business partners and learn the best business practices. The project’s success grew from early communication with faculty, staff, alumni and students. Defining ideas emerged from those early conversations. The most important was the concept of interactivity. Our response was to create spaces that are inviting, full of energy, and inspiring. We believed the building should reflect the business world of today and allow flexibility and adaptability as we look into the future. In the classroom, moveable furniture offers optional configurations and incorporates small group exercises into class time. Over twenty unique breakout rooms and “sticky spaces” scattered throughout the building provide opportunities for small group study or individual use. Formal common areas become spaces for open collaboration and interaction while a 150-seat auditorium offers space for lectures and special events and eight conference rooms provide meeting accommodations. Addressing the technological needs of the modern classroom and the student’s appetite for information was paramount in creating a successful project. The state-of-the-art Spears School of Business offers students and faculty the latest technology available throughout the building to make sharing ideas quick and effortless. Brick and Georgian architecture are foundational trademarks of the Oklahoma State University campus. Our goal with the Spears School of Business building was to celebrate the architecture of the historic campus by using true Georgian architecture principles and creating a new bookend building connecting the east/west axis of Legacy Walk. Extensive research into architecture during the time of England’s King George, led us to appreciate the crescent forms in Bath, England. The shape was and remains a unique feature of authentic Georgian architecture. Here on campus the crescent shape is both historic in nature and new. In 1624, Vitruvius suggested that great architecture contained firmness, commodity and delight. Today, we have interpreted that to mean that great architecture has three elements: “it is sturdy, useful, and beautiful.” This timeless inspiration and our belief in the importance of scale, proportion and detail will make the OSU School of Business an enduring architectural statement that will withstand the test of time.
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