GISB Move Blog

A vital, active, inviting building; IU architect talks about the new space

Aug. 13, 2015

The design for the new Global and International Studies Building called for it to be a place inviting to all, where people would come, learn, and linger. Now that the blueprints are a real space, the planners can point out exactly how that’s so.

Trustees tour of GISBOn Thursday, Aug. 13, Bob Richardson, senior associate university architect at Indiana University, led a high-profile tour of the building, showing the building to IU President Michael McRobbie and most of the IU Trustees. The building wowed the group as the visitors traversed the two wings, walked the four floors, and saw the brightly-lit and open spaces that are the heart and soul of the building that sits feet away from the Wells Library, across from the Radio-TV Services building, and just north of the IU Auditorium on Jordan Ave.

The VIP touring group was inclined to stay, admiring the design and generally enjoying the feeling the space evoked. That is much of the what went into the original design, created by Ennead Architects of New York City, the firm behind the design of Washington, DC’s Newseum building and the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AR.

Trustees tour of GISB“We intended it to be sort of global on campus and be a connector between many parts of campus--the center of the library and the cultural arts district--kind of a pathway between things as well as a center for things,” Richardson said. “So we thought about it in many principles. We wanted a sense of community in bringing everybody together and through and bringing the outside in and the inside out and taking advantage of great exterior spaces. But building a sense of community with the atrium and the public spaces, just creating a vital, active building where everybody could come together for the first time that had now been spread all over campus.”

Richardson pointed out that the community extends inside and out of the building in some subtle and obvious ways. “There are two wings of the building, so one parallels the orthogonal grid of the city streets, and the other the arboretum,” Richardson said. “But the building itself creates spaces outside that can be used for study, or just lounging or working together in groups.” Additionally, the first floors have tables and seats outside the classrooms with whiteboards for collaborative work. The classroom spaces all feature whiteboards along with interactive computer monitors.

“And the auditorium, the public spaces really have a sense of community, Richardson added. “As well as the main conference rooms on either side of the main lobby on either floor, which are public spaces where everybody can come together, as well as actually connecting floors vertically by having open spaces all around the stairwell where you can see in between floors.”

Trustees tour of GISBWhat is also obvious about the space is that natural light defines it, partly due to the construction that draws upon the landscape of the area. “The idea is to share the light, so we did several things,” Richardson said. “We have windows wherever possible and we have transoms and glass doors so light gets in the core and the center of the building. And also we wanted light at the ends of the building so you're sort of walking towards the light at all times, unlike a hotel or a motel where you don't really know where you are. Take advantage of bringing the inside out and the outside in.”

The Dean welcomes SGIS to the new building with donuts

Aug. 13, 2015

With much more of the IU School of Global and International Studies in the building, the dean of the school thought it time to provide a small welcome.

Dean handing out donutsOn Thursday, Aug. 13, Dean Lee Feinstein rolled through the halls with sweet treats to welcome all to their sweet new space at the Global and International Studies building. Feinstein passed out donuts (of varying types) from the famed Square Donuts, a welcomed welcome to the building for all but the strictest of dieters in the SGIS.

Dean handing out donutsThe dean’s visit came as a good portion of the permanent SGIS residents had arrived. By Thursday, moving vans had unloaded many departments and their faculty and staff offices from across campus. Around a hundred were in their offices, including those working in International Studies, Dhar India Studies, Central Eurasian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and East Asian Languages and Cultures. Additionally, the student and career advisor offices were moved in during the week.

As for the dean, he and his staff had to wait until Friday. The dean’s office was moved Friday morning, allowing for some unpacking to begin Friday and through the weekend. Dean Feinstein occupies his own office on the 4th floor starting Monday, Aug.  17.

More on the dean’s visit and his thoughts on the new building from WTIU’s Joe Hren, who followed the dean on his delivery route.

Move-in has begun; new building nearing completion

Aug. 12, 2015

GISB Moving DayA few departments have already moved. Some residents have already unpacked. The new home of the Indiana University School of Global and International Studies is still a work in progress, but the final touches will now happen around those working in the building.

With a goal of completing work at the end of August, workers from Messer Construction are now turning attention to finishing touches. Final paint, landscaping, installation of furniture and state-of-the art classroom tools are the focus for the final few weeks.

GISB Moving DayAlready the first floor collaborative spaces appear ready to go; whiteboards that line the hallway next to chairs and tables just await the students who will use them. Most of the office and meeting space is complete.

“That’s not bad, considering they had the frigid winter that set back stuff and then the torrential rains earlier this year,” said building manager Pete Goodwin. He said the technology that includes classrooms equipped with large monitors for communication and collaboration is where workers are spending a lot of time right now. The final checklist is long.

“They have a punch list of thousands of little items that they’re going through, about 100 to a 150 items a day,” Goodwin said.

GISB Moving DayWhat is already apparent is why the 165,000-square foot structure has earned LEED Gold certification for its plan, developed by Ennead Architects. LEED certification means the plans and construction have met standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s environmentally responsible building standards. Daylight washes through the building, making it entirely possible to work with no artificial lights on at all in most spaces, Goodwin said.

The lights in rooms shut off when the space is unoccupied for 15 minutes. But the building does more than save light-used energy when it goes into its “sleep” mode.

“It also closes the damper to the VAV box—the variable air voluming box—that controls the room,” Goodwin said. “If nobody’s in it, there’s no reason to heat or cool it. So it closes the damper. Somebody comes back in, it wakes up, opens the damper and adjusts accordingly.”

“This is a smart building,” Goodwin added.