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Isenberg's Innovative New Building
September 25, 2018
Business Innovation Hub: Episode 3
“It comes down to the care invested in [the project]. That’s when you care about asking, how will this building be used? How can it do more? How can it open up more? How will it invite people in? Take advantage of the daylight? Offer shelter from the wind? When you address those questions architecturally, your building will look slightly different from ‘the standard solution.’”
—Bjarke Ingels, Architect of the Business Innovation Hub
Meet the new star of UMass Amherst’s campus, and the result of finding the answers to those questions, the Business Innovation Hub. Designed by the Boston architectural firm Goody Clancy and the Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) of New York and Copenhagen, the circular building’s most striking design feature is the series of three-story-tall, copper-clad fins that create a vertical lattice for the glass outer wall. Along with their dynamic look, the slats function as a way to allow natural light in without overheating the building.
The Hub is physically connected to Isenberg’s original 1964 building and the 2004 Alfond Center, creating one expansive, unified campus. With students’ needs at the top of the designers’ minds, the 70,000 square feet of space includes:
A 5,000 sq. ft. learning commons that doubles as an event center
Expanded career development spaces, including 15 interview suites where students can more easily meet with company recruiters
A 42-seat business analytics lab with state-of-the-art tech providing even more of the real-world learning experiences for which Isenberg is known
Three classrooms with flexible furniture, allowing each space to be used for both theater-style lectures and small-group work; plus, integrated technology will allow online students to participate in lectures remotely
Modern workspaces for the Dean and other administrative offices, with conference rooms where alumni and other industry experts can meet with student teams in a professional business setting
Over the upcoming winter break, more than 150 Isenberg faculty and staff will be packing up their current offices and moving—some to the new building, others to more comfortable digs in the “old” buildings. By the start of the spring semester, the Hub’s doors will open to students, welcoming them to a new stage of Isenberg’s upward trajectory.
The new building serves as a commitment to Isenberg’s growth and cements its reputation as one of the top public business schools in the country. We’ve already received many generous gifts from donors, some of which are profiled here. Isenberg’s active and involved alumni are a major part of what attracts the best students and faculty to the school.
We welcome you to join your fellow alumni and friends to support this next chapter for Isenberg. If you’d like to discuss making a gift or naming opportunities within the Business Innovation Hub, please contact the development office at 413-545-5604. We hope you’ll join us at the Hub’s grand opening celebration on April 12, 2019.