Free Enterprise Center

 

Location: Anonymous [Undisclosed]

Estimated Completion Date: 2020

Project Size: 20,250 s.f.

 

A Factory of Ideas

The fundamentals of free enterprise were comprehensively explored to determine how the Free Enterprise Center can help cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit through education, innovation, and collaboration. The process of uncovering the best design ecosystem for the Free Enterprise Center began with a charrette - an intensive design workshop where stakeholders gathered to set goals and identify strategies for achieving the desired outcomes for the project. The charrette involved key personnel from the architect and design professionals, the regional entrepreneurial community, and the consultant team. During the charrette process we explored and defined issues, brainstormed concepts, and refined the conceptual design based upon the input of the key stakeholders. This exploratory charrette further developed the relationship between, education, innovation and collaboration and was established into a series of schematic concepts.

The Free Enterprise Center addresses the needs of 21st century innovation economy while preserving the religious and ethical precepts on which the college is centered. These paramount foundations reinforce the values of knowledge and virtue that create a strong moral foundation for students, faculty, and the community alike.

The juxtaposition of form and materials create a balanced dialogue of transformation. The internally focused Innovation block is monumental in nature and reminiscent of a factory building. The personalized Collaboration labs are of a smaller scale and create a dialogue with the city beyond. The balance of these elements serve as a modern interpretation of a “factory of ideas” that reflects on its past while looking towards the future. The 20,250 square foot Factory of Ideas serves as a pivotal piece of architecture that addresses the campus in its relation to the physical and spiritual heart of campus. The ground floor houses public amenities including a 500 seat auditorium, cafe, Institute for Religious Liberty, and an Ethical Leadership Studies Program. The second floor is home to Fellows’ offices that overlook the expansive atrium, labs, and glazed breakout pods promote group study and experiential learning.

A large glass atrium serves as a connector between the Collaboration and Innovation blocks. While serving as a visual break between the two contrasting elements, the architecture seamlessly links the outdoors and community beyond creating an enlightened experience for students and faculty alike. Reminiscent of a factory, the Free Enterprise Center design serves as a Factory of Ideas and reinforces the concepts of experiential learning.

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