The East Studio Building project for the internationally acclaimed Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University is a new facility that accommodates faculty teaching studios, as well as music practice rooms, classrooms, and rehearsal rooms. Browning Day extensively developed the surrounding site to accommodate a vehicular environment within a pedestrian setting. Our design created a corner plaza that serves both as a campus space and an arts district gateway at a major entrance to campus, while effectively dealing with accessibility issues from one corner of the site to the main level of the new building. The design provides space for a future carillon to further enhance and establish the arts district gateway experience.
A west patio space was created at the building proper, while a terraced landscape area on the south end exposes the lower level studios to daylight and provides great “subterranean” views. A roundabout with barrier-free access allows drop-off and easy access to the building for students transporting large instruments for a lesson. The north entry is graced with a circular passive garden and lawn area featuring a large variety of outdoor recreational spaces.
The 20 feet of grade change from one end of the site to the other serves many goals, from providing accessibility to the new building and throughout the site, to providing daylight into and views out of faculty studios in the lower level of the building. Various dimensional stone applications and finishes are used from smooth panels to rusticated copings and chunky limestone blocks, to respond to the challenge of creating contrast and visual interest through the use of fieldrock versus more expensive building stone.
Browning Day’s design integrates easily with the fabric of the campus while providing a fresh contemporary aesthetic. Our landscape architects wove together project-specific program needs with creative site challenges, all while effectively serving the needs of a large client base and design team. The site and building project was recently certified LEED Gold, one of only two projects on campus. Several site specific credits contributed to the success in achieving LEED Gold. These credits included maximizing the open space – over 50% of the project area is vegetated open space; minimizing the heat island effect for non-roof elements through the use of high reflectance concrete pavements; and water efficient landscaping achieved through the use of drought tolerant and native plant species which did not require the installation of a permanent irrigation system.