Located at a crossroads of pedestrian traffic on the Washington University campus, Simon Hall, the original home of the Olin School of Business, has undergone a major renovation. Built in 1982, Simon was a model of cloistered architecture that did little to connect and inspire. With graduate programs recently decanted into adjacent buildings, students and faculty in undergraduate business were aching for larger, better-connected office, lounge and common spaces. Simon Hall finally embraces students with a new undergraduate lounge, a state-of-the-art market research lab, expanded coffee shop, an overhauled auditorium, 10 technology enhanced classrooms, nine new seminar classrooms, and a 21st century collaborative library.
Unable to take any classrooms off-line for a semester, the renovation work was carefully divided into two phases performed over the course of two summers. Mackey Mitchell worked closely with the Construction Manager to devise a phasing strategy and a logistics plan that allowed the building to be occupied throughout renovation. The summer sprint began in 2014 with over $9 million of construction work completed in ten weeks. Phase 2 comprised $6 million of renovations performed over nine weeks. Disruption was minimized during business hours, utility outages were scheduled over nights and weekends, and no staff or faculty member had to relocate more than once.
Simon Hall’s renovation has given Olin’s undergraduate business a collaborative hub for student activity and faculty engagement. Tight, windowless hallways were widened and enhanced with break-out nooks and glazing walls to ease congestion. Pedestrian flow was improved with updated finishes that provide visual cues for traffic and way finding. "As a faculty member who stayed in Simon Hall, I'm not at all jealous about the new building since the quality level has been brought to a level comparable to the new building, " said Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship. "So I feel good about being in Simon. It's a nice place to be.”
Truly stunning. The environment is a lot more intimate and impressive, well done! All in all, the energy is upbeat and significantly improved.
- Turner Peters, MBA
Olin School of Business