Kean University

Center for Academic Success

Union, NJ

Project Details

Center for Academic Success

A closet filled with navy blazers is an unlikely icon for an architectural project, but it captures the unique nature of Kean’s Center for Academic Success. The blazers are a trademark of the team of student counselors dedicated to helping their peers thrive academically and socially. In designing the new center, KSS made it a priority to uphold Kean’s commitment to the success of their students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college.

The design breaks down the building’s large scale into a collection of inviting spaces for students. It lifts up solid, brick-clad office and classroom spaces and moves down clear glass finishes on counseling and tutoring spaces to reinforce the message of embracing, not hiding, students who need assistance. Lightness and transparency in community spaces are achieved through the extensive use of windows, punctuated design elements like railings, and translucent skylights in the Great Hall.

The Center is the university’s first LEED Certified building. Sustainable features include interior lights triggered by occupancy sensors, and solar energy captured by roof-mounted photovoltaic cells, which help power Kean’s campus radio station housed on the center’s top floor.

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