The 9 Best New University Buildings Around The World

With the school year getting started, AD takes a look at cutting-edge architecture in academia.

1. British architecture office Foster & Partners brought its brand of finely detailed design to Yale University, creating a rectilinear jewel box of a home for the institution’s Edward P. Evans Hall, Yale School of Management. A glass envelope gives way to open, light-filled corridors and public spaces, while lecture halls are housed in 16 drum-shaped modules clad in luminescent blue panels (seen at far left and far right).

Yale University

2. For the new Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania, firm Weiss/Manfredi designed a striking three-story building with a transparent front façade and planted roof. Sensitive to the demands of biological research and the delicate equipment the building would house, Weiss/Manfredi worked to isolate vibrations and noise from a nearby subway line and mitigate other external environmental factors to create an efficient, beautiful research hub.

Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

3. The London School of Economics’ new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre was built into a tight triangular site in the dense English capital by Irish studio O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects.

London School of Economics

4. An ovoid clad in silvery stainless-steel panels and a rectilinear tower covered in tiles in various shades of red form a striking pair of new buildings (called Silver Mountain and Red Cliff, respectively) at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Kawasaki, Japan, some 11 miles southeast of Tokyo. Created by Japanese studio K/O Design Studio, the unconventional forms house rehearsal spaces.

Senzoku Gakuen College of Music

5. Bands of windows snake up the brass-paneled exterior of SOM’s design for the New School’s University Center, revealing a staircase that broadens and narrows as it climbs to create flexible meeting spaces in this nexus of student life at the New York City institution. The center includes classrooms, dormitories, and computing labs.

New School's University Center

6. Zaha Hadid Architects created this cast-in-place-concrete edifice for Lebanon’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. The structure’s dramatic 69-foot cantilever minimizes its overall footprint and maximizes public courtyard and plaza spaces below.

Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs

7. For the Library and Learning Centre at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Zaha Hadid Architects devised this dramatic instructional center, comprising a main structure (which tilts at a 35-degree incline) and a second space that cantilevers dramatically from its base over a plaza below. Clad in fibre-reinforced concrete, the building is marked by ribbon windows that streak and swerve across its façade.

Vienna University of Economics and Business

8. Thomas Phifer and Partners’ expansion of Lee Hall at the architecture school of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, is a light-filled glass-and-steel edifice that plays counterpoint to the campus’s more traditional brick structures.

Clemson University

9. At the Glasgow School of Art, American firm Steven Holl Architects crafted a luminous five-story structure as an addition to the original 1909 building. The Reid Building is sheathed in a translucent laminated glass and includes art, design, and architecture studios, as well as a café, an exhibition hall, and other ancillary rooms.

Glasgow School of Art

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