Ohio Northern University’s James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building was awarded Education Design Showcase’s 2020 grand prize for its academic functionality and structural ingenuity.
“Ohio Northern University understood the importance of using the building to recruit and retain students, increase engineering laboratory space, promote the visibility of engineering on campus and encourage faculty-student collaboration,” the award committee explains. “The building’s program focuses on enhancing the student experience and highlighting different activities: learning, creating and working. The spaces are functional, multipurpose and disciplinary. The building’s main feature is the central three-story atrium, which fills the surrounding classrooms and labs with light and provides an amazing view of the campus."
The $30 million James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building opened in fall 2019. It features 105,000 square feet of glass-wrapped collaboration spaces, huddle rooms and labs. The large atrium sculpture, which was designed, built and donated by James Lehr Kennedy, is lit internally with hundreds of programmable LEDs in a student-designed system.
Education Design Showcase was established in 1999 to recognize innovation and practical solutions in planning, design and construction. In 2020, it recognized two grand prize winners and four Project of Distinction winners for higher education and K-12 building projects throughout the nation.
“The goal is to share ideas that will help achieve the best possible learning environments for students at all levels of education” the organization’s website states.