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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

American University School of International Service in Washington,District of Columbia by William McDonough + Partners

March 16th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

How can we design a building that inspires students to dream? This charge— articulated by the dean of the country’s largest foreign service program— guided the design team for this new building on the American University campus.

American University School of International Service

  • Architect: William McDonough + Partners
  • Client: American University
  • Program : Classrooms, offices, student cafe, underground parking and a library expansion
  • Area: 75,000 square feet above grade
  • Status : completed
  • Team : William McDonough + Partners, Design Architect; Quinn Evans | Architects, Architect of Record; Taylor Engineering, Design Mechanical Engineer; GHT Limited, Mechanical Engineer of Record; McMullan Associates, Structural Engineer, Loisos + Ubbelohde Associates, Daylighting Consultant; Delon Hampton & Associates, Civil Engineer; Sustainable Design Consulting, LEED Consultant; PEG, Fire Code and Suppression Consultant; Whiting-Turner, General Contractor

Serving as a symbol of the school’s tradition of global service, the anticipated LEED Gold certified building provides a vibrant setting for teaching, research and public dialogue. Design strategies, including on-site generation of renewable energy, Cradle to Cradle material specifications, and abundant fresh air and daylight, were developed and prioritized in close collaboration with the School’s students, faculty and staff to serve as pedagogical tools capable of demonstrating the highest degrees of environmental responsibility.

University Building

The sunlit atrium provides a welcome meeting place for the School and its visitors as they work towards social justice, the eradication of poverty, and world peace. Global connections are celebrated on the building exterior as well, where the pattern of the perforated frieze is inspired by the Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion map of the world.

Interior View

Design Strategies

Roof mounted solar PVs offset energy use of student run cafe

Solar thermal hot water heating system and solar preheating of fresh air

Interior of Building

Optimal window transoms and atrium/skylight locations deliver daylight deep into interiors

Each office has individual thermal control, coupled with operable windows

Cisterns collect and store rainwater for use in building and landscape


Entry of University

Night View of Building

Campus Plan

Plan & Site Analysis

Community Diagram

Diagram of University Building

Light - Air Diagram

Water Diagram

Site Plan

Contact William McDonough + Partners

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Category: University Building

One Response to “American University School of International Service in Washington,District of Columbia by William McDonough + Partners”

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