University of Utah
Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building
The David Eccles School of Business on the University of Utah campus is a new state-of-the-art teaching, learning, and research facility designed to meet future growth in student enrollment, expand MBA and undergraduate program flexibility, and reflect the school’s status as a nationally and internationally ranked business school. As a two-phased construction project, the new DESB will include classrooms, class-labs, and seminar rooms, a 250 seat auditorium, event space, collaborative break-out, study space, research and entrepreneurial centers, casual, social space, café, student services and one-stop-shop, faculty and administration spaces. Some general campus scheduling will occur in this new facility as well. Designed to be an efficient energy performer, energy-modeling projects the facility to consume only 42 kbtu/sf/yr. This amount is about half the consumption of a similar scale higher education classroom building at the time of this design.
The desire to handle a high volume of classes, enable the school’s highly collaborative culture, yet maintain a degree of research privacy was a driving design challenge. The design employs a simple strategy of stacking the highest capacity classrooms at main levels, then smaller capacity
classes and spaces requiring higher degrees of focus at higher levels.
A unique feature of the design takes advantage of the high volume required by classroom floors. Opposite each large classroom, a double stacking of small break-out/meeting/office spaces occurs. This accomplishes close proximity of flexible meeting and break out space for classes, as welll as modulated accessibility to some faculty and staff offices. The rooms are sized on a module to allow flexibility of future use assignment as the school needs change into the future. On the top levels, over 70 faculty and administrative offices have a balance of private and interactive spaces including a deep dive think tank. All spaces throughout the environment will have access to panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains and the Salt Lake Valley.
The scale of the facility is large. Distinct interior neighborhoods that coincide with an exterior definition of pavilions, enable specific identity and experiences within each part of the business school. Major donors are associated with each pavilion. As well, the student, visitor, faculty, and admin daily experience is provided with a variety of places to inspire and engage. A long continuous wood wall, dubbed ‘the canyon wall’ in reference to some of Utah’s unique landscape, runs through the pavilions as a metaphor of the unifying narrative that is the continuing legacy of the school.