foster + partners open yale school of management’s edward p. evans hall
photo by chuck choi
all images courtesy of foster + partners

 

 

 

as a former student of the yale school of architecture, lord foster gives back to his alma mater with the completion of a new building for the ivy league institution’s school of management. ‘edward p. evans hall’, brings together for the first time yale’s faculty departments into a single location, providing a high level of transparency to the traditionally enclosed college courtyard, thus creating a green heart for the campus community which is seen from throughout the school.

 

the foster + partners-designed facility was developed in close collaboration with yale’s faculty members. the result is a structure composed of 16 double-height oval drums that frame a central courtyard.

 

 

foster + partners open yale school of management's edward p. evans hall
the scheme is characterized by sixteen blue classroom drums surrounding a central courtyard
photo by chuck choi

 

 

 

standing at five storeys, the scheme puts just as much emphasis on the communal zones as it does the formal teaching areas, incorporating the majority of its social spaces on the ground level, where there is also a coffee shop, media library and large common room. the second floor houses classrooms that are connected by an internal circulation ‘cloister’ – the glazed façade around the courtyard following the undulations of the 16 blue classroom drums, defining window bays where students can sit together outside of lessons, further encouraging collaboration. the third floor is set back from the transparent edifice, forming a mezzanine that offers open sight lines between the various programs and levels of the building.  

 

the 16 classrooms are each specifically tailored to yale’s curriculum, and have been conceived to support every style of learning — from team-based working lectures, discussions ‘in the round’, as well as video conferencing. the facility is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology that includes simultaneous translation, filming, multimedia displays and enhanced acoustics, ensuring that every study can be seen and heard clearly.

 

 

foster + partners open yale school of management's edward p. evans hall
the undulating façade defines bays where students can sit and socialize
photo by chuck choi

 

 

 

feature programs include the second floor semi-circular beinecke room which provides a flexible events and meeting space that has the capacity for 80 diners, and which is connected to a large curving terrace that offers views looking over the natural landscape to the east. just below the beinecke room one finds a 350-seat auditorium, a venue for hosting yale’s high-profile lecture series. its design is unlike other traditionally closed auditoria, as it retains a visual connection with the courtyard outside. this unlatched approach extends the ‘edward p. evans hall’ to the greater campus, opening it up to whitney avenue, and making visible the feature staircases that are contained within two of the glass cylinders located on either side of the entrance, thus making visible the ongoing activities and liveliness within. the roof is held aloft by slender columns, which stands to shade both the façade and wide entrance plaza below.

 

 

foster + partners open yale school of management's edward p. evans hall
a lecture hall
photo by chuck choi

 

 

the realization of the new ‘edward p. eveans hall’ targets the highest environmental standards and responds to the unique climate of its new haven location. chilled beams are set that serve as a displacement system of ventilation and solar shading, complimenting the building’s high performance envelope that employs solar responsive shading that naturally reduces energy demand.

 

as a former student, it is a very special honor to design a building for yale’s campus, to stand alongside architecture by such luminaries as paul rudolph and louis kahn. learning is not only about the classroom – it is about the social spaces, grounds, cafes and the relationships that are formed. the people that I was exposed to at yale, and the collegiate style of working that I found there, have influenced the way that I have built my own practice – our london studios, like those at yale during term time, are open twenty four hours, seven days a week. this philosophy of hard work and collaboration – both fundamental to leadership – has informed the design of the edward p. evans hall. I hope that it will provide an uplifting place to study, which can inspire future generations of business leaders.’ – lord foster