Our work at Cox began with a detailed benchmarking, programming and feasibility study on improvements to the burgeoning School of Business. Fincher Hall (1953,) Crow and Maguire Halls (both 1985) today provide a total of 165,000 square feet, but the facility had not been comprehensively updated since Crow and Maguire were constructed. From the outset, Dean Matthew Myers established the goal of creating a “9 to 9” environment, creating a place where students wanted to stay, study and collaborate outside of class, and enhancing the student experience by building community between students, faculty and corporate partners. Executive Architect GFF and Design Architect Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) worked together to rebalance the space distribution, increasing the amount of student space and adding new specialized spaces while upgrading classrooms to accommodate modern pedagogy and technology. The project will fully reconfigure and renovate the existing three buildings, constructing an additional 65,000 SF while increasing the buildings’ overall efficiency.
The additions integrate seamlessly with the fabric of the Georgian SMU campus, adding new program space and linking the previously isolated pavilions to enhance communication and collaboration. A new multi-story commons will be the heart of the school, where students, faculty, and visitors can connect with each other. Student spaces and classrooms will be concentrated on the lower level and entry floors, while the faculty spaces will be consolidated on the second floor. All the primary hallways will have views to the redeveloped courtyard, providing natural light and orientation. Builder Rogers-O’Brien plans on completion of construction for the fall semester of 2024. The enhanced Cox School of Business will exceed its peers with forward-thinking classroom design and an industry-leading amount of collaboration space, positioning the School of Business for its next 100 years.
Jonathan Rollins is a Principal at GFF Architects.