University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Pedagogical shifts toward “learning by doing” have created a need for innovative teaching labs and classrooms.
Serving primarily first- and second-year students, the new Belknap Academic Building will provide active learning classrooms and teaching labs that engage students in effective experiential learning. It will include co-curricular spaces designed for informal gatherings and chance encounters, as well as dedicated group-study spaces for peer-to-peer collaboration. This new learning environment will support students whether they arrive not fully prepared for college curriculum, or excel in their chosen course of study.
The program is designed to help the University achieve a 15:1 student-to-instructor ratio, enhance engagement with and among undergrads, and attract new faculty and staff members. The media-rich spaces inspire collaboration and hands-on learning, and the design responds to the client’s wish for a flexible, accessible, safe, and environmentally friendly building. The project scope and ambitions include:
- Active learning labs and classrooms, sized and equipped for unmet needs on campus
- Much needed co-curricular space for learning beyond the classroom
- Flexible, adaptable spaces to accommodate broadly defined liberal arts programs, rather than specific departments, to maximize efficient use by the university
- An academy for teaching, with the aim of supporting teaching excellence
- A student success center, to offer advising, academic support, and counseling programs