LMN Architects Completes Clifton Court Hall at the University of Cincinnati


Clifton Court Hall
University of Cincinnati

Seattle, Washington – October 16, 2023 – LMN Architects is pleased to celebrate the completion of Clifton Court Hall at the University of Cincinnati. The new interdisciplinary education building brings together six College of Arts and Sciences departments, including faculty workspace, specialized lab spaces, administrative offices, classrooms, and a central social hub to foster a vibrant ecosystem of multimodal learning, research, and community engagement.

Designed by LMN in collaboration with KZF Design and built by Messer Construction, Clifton Court Hall unites a range of academic units from various buildings across campus to form a new home for the College of Arts and Sciences. The academic hub encompasses the Departments of Political Science, Communication, Psychology, Journalism, German Studies, and Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures.

The new building, situated at the western campus edge, creates an arrival nexus that links the College of Arts and Sciences to the active campus core as well as to the adjacent urban neighborhood. The design organizes shared academic functions, such as collaboration and specialized learning spaces, to form expressive architectural volumes that connect the building with campus pathways, animate the entry experiences and interweave learning and research activities with the overall life of the campus.

In addition to serving as the home for the six Arts & Sciences departments, the building acts as a hub for student collaboration and active learning. Over 1,000 classroom seats are housed across a mix of flexible flat-floor classrooms, seminar rooms, and a collaborative auditorium – and the building provides spaces which support non-classroom learning in collaboration, study, specialized lab, and social spaces.

Susan Lowance, Principal at LMN Architects, comments: “The College of Arts & Sciences delivers curriculum to every student on the University of Cincinnati campus, in addition to the majors in the departments housed in the building. Every student will spend time here learning, researching, and engaging with the outside community which makes it a building for the whole campus, as well as for the College and the Departments.”

The building is organized around a central atrium infused with daylight from skylights and large north and south facing windows that also make strong visual connection to the surrounding campus spaces. The dynamic five-story atrium serves as a community hub for the College, fostering academic discourse and social exchange through a series of community and collaboration spaces, and adjacent team rooms. A sculptural red stairway extends three stories diagonally through the atrium, serving as a major campus pathway, and connecting the interdisciplinary communities within.

Mark Reddington, Partner at LMN Architects, comments: “The project choreographs a variety of welcoming experiences and takes advantage of the rich program and connections on site to create a center for social engagement on campus. The design of Clifton Court Hall enriches the formal and informal network of social spaces and connects the multidisciplinary thinkers on campus as well as the broader Cincinnati community.

Responding to the specific site conditions of the west campus gateway, the exterior expression complements the rich architectural heritage of the campus while employing contemporary design principles to serve the needs of innovative academic research and learning. The building is composed of a series of distinctively proportioned volumes that frame a spatial terminus to the historic Clifton Yard and presents a welcoming presence to the off-campus community. The architectural massing steps at the lower levels to mediate the sloping topography and engage the heavily used campus pedestrian pathways and entry points. The terracotta-paneled façade evokes the red brick tones of prominent campus buildings while expressing the variety of program uses within a modular framework that unifies the overall building composition while supporting long-term program flexibility.

LMN Architects has designed over 150 higher education projects on 53 campuses in the United States, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle; the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion at Michigan State University in East Lansing; and the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University.

Learn more about the project here.