Bryant University, Academic Innovation Center

Smithfield, Rhode Island

Design team:
Kip Ellis, Lead Architect

Bryant University has a 154-year tradition of innovation—anticipating and adapting to changes in the world to prepare students for success. The Academic Innovation Center (AIC) began with an intensive, five-year development and design process that has resulted in a vibrant learning laboratory and a catalyst for ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,866COST PER SQ FT$652.00FEATURED IN2017 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized Bryant’s larger, long-term vision to reimagine higher education.
“We have created a world-class learning environment that aligns with Bryant’s bold future,” says Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley. “Our goal is not just to teach innovatively, but to develop within each student the innovative traits, skills and qualities to become innovative leaders for the future.”
“What I found particularly exciting was the desire to innovate and do something entirely new, to be at the forefront of creating an environment that will encourage innovation, that will encourage new ways of learning,” said Kip Ellis of EYP Architecture & Engineering.
The building is organized around the Innovation Forum, a flexible space with furnishings and whiteboards that can be reconfigured to support various collaborative group learning activities. In addition to the Forum, flat classrooms, tiered classrooms, breakout rooms, and a café enable a variety of formal and informal learning and discovery.
The AIC leverages best practices and technology to deliver highly energy-efficient and sustainable building performance. LEED certification is being pursued. Exterior materials, including precast concrete panels, bricks, mortar and glazing, were carefully coordinated for the project and with existing buildings on campus.
The project was delivered on time and $1 million under budget—breaking ground in May 2015 and opening just 16 months later.