Kent State Esplanade Project Gets First Tenant

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Three dozen companies entered a competition to design the architecture building and the winning entry may well have been chosen for its use of transparent glass.

Architecture school dean Doug Steidl noted that not only can students see pedestrians walking by, but at night, the lighted studios will serve as a beacon to the campus and city.

"I think it says Kent is not only an expert in economic futures, but design futures," Steidl said. "And not just for Northeast Ohio, but I think the building is going to put us on the map nationally."

Weiss/Manfredi of New York with Richard Bowen & Associates of Cleveland designed a building that resembles sloping terraces with a green roof. And Steidl said he likes the new energy efficient technology that continues to be updated as construction begins

"Sustainability aspects of their design with the studios on the north side, the controlled environments on the south side where you can shield sun," he said. "There's geothermal heating and cooling. There's rainwater recirculation. There's a rain garden for surface filtration. We're using LED lighting, the use of natural light. The list goes on and on."

Architect Michael Manfredi predicts the $48 million building will earn platinum LEED certification, the highest given by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building opens in two years.

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