Home AEC Antioch University’s New Campus Reflects Changing Trends in Education & Design

Antioch University’s New Campus Reflects Changing Trends in Education & Design

By Neil Gonzales

Antioch University Seattle plans to relocate to a new campus—a move that reflects and capitalizes on the city’s surging real estate market.

The private, nonprofit university—currently at Sixth Avenue and Battery Street in the Denny Triangle neighborhood—would shift just a few blocks away to a three-story building at Third and Battery being built by Martin Selig Real Estate.

The school has already signed a lease of at least 15 years for 38,100 square feet, or more than half of the space, at the 68,400-square-foot building under construction. The lease amount was not disclosed. The building is expected to be completed by late 2016, and until then, the school would remain at its current location.

The days of rows of desks, a chalkboard and lectern are long gone. Our students need space to collaborate, learn experientially and leverage technology.

“Antioch Seattle is excited to grow current and future program enrollment at the new campus as we build out new programs geared at the needs of today’s adult learners,” university spokesman Matt Cookson said in an email.

School officials said the design of the new campus would cater to today’s tech-savvy, sophisticated student.

“The days of rows of desks, a chalkboard and lectern are long gone,” university President Dan Hocoy said in a news release. “Our students need space to collaborate, learn experientially and leverage technology.”

Global architecture firm Gensler is leading the design of the campus. A Gensler representative said the firm does not have design details to give as the process is still in the early stages.

But Cookson said the new campus would feature many flexible spaces. “This will include larger and smaller classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, a large event auditorium, a variety of student study and learning spaces such as individual and group study rooms to align with our mission of providing experiential learning experiences, a student lounge, a community dining space, a library and other amenities,” he said.

The design would also reflect what’s preferred by the bustling tech sector “although it will be specifically tailored to our student-centered educational philosophy,” he said. “Some open-floor-plan spaces will improve space efficiency, and meeting rooms will provide collaborative spaces for students as well as student-faculty and department team meetings. There will be a variety of finishes, including some exposed ceiling and some dropped ceiling for design and acoustics.”

School officials also pointed out that the decision to relocate takes advantage of the booming commercial and residential development in the Denny Triangle. The university has sold its existing property to HB Management for $26.5 million and is reinvesting a portion of the sale proceeds in the new campus. HB is eyeing two apartment towers with ground-floor retail at Antioch’s current site and an adjacent parcel.

“Because of the sale, we are able to make a significant investment in the new space to ensure that it’s a true 21st-century learning environment,” university Chancellor Felice Nudelman said in the release. “This is such a unique opportunity, and so much has changed since we moved into the current space 19 years ago.”

The new campus, moreover, is still in an area close to Seattle’s major employment hubs of the central business district and South Lake Union—where many current and future Antioch students work, officials said.

Besides housing the campus, the Martin Selig building would have offices, retail space and a rooftop terrace, the developer said on its Web site. The building’s overall design would feature a contemporary boutique exterior, floor-to-ceiling windows and 10-foot-high ceilings.

Antioch Seattle was established 40 years ago and serves up to about 800 students. It offers programs that include bachelor’s completion, a master’s in management and leadership, and a doctorate in psychology. It is one of five campuses nationwide operated by Ohio-based Antioch University.

Photo courtesy of Flickr