Prominently located near the “front door” to campus, the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street, the $23 million graduate business studies building serves as a bold new landmark for the UF campus. This impressive learning facility provides approximately 70,000 gross square feet of space to accommodate state-of-the-art classrooms, career development and counseling centers, academic program offices, a recruitment suite, and space for students to meet and study—the centerpiece of which is the beautiful main atrium.
Because business today is defined by teamwork, the design and layout of the new building provides spaces where students can experience hands-on learning in this approach. In addition, this student-oriented building has been created with circulation spaces in mind, with areas for casual and unplanned encounters, supporting individual and team discussion and research. The floors have also been strategically planned to serve the needs of visitors.
The building configuration is consistent with the iconography of the campus’ historic buildings, a main gabled structure with cross gables articulating the ends of the major central bar. This elongated H-shaped structure also follows the neo-Gothic style of recent structures built on the UF campus, with the predominant exterior material being Gainesville range red brick masonry.
While modern in its architectural style, the new building will also blend with the classical elements of the campus buildings that surround it. Its neighbors include a variety of building styles and types, including two—Tigert Hall and Bryan Hall—that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior design of Hough Hall fits within this context—including its brick veneer, cast stone and concrete accents, steeply‐pitched red clay tile roofs, and other “Collegiate Gothic” features—while still retaining elements that clearly define it as a modern facility.
On the northern face is a glazed curtain wall within the cast stone framework, inviting the “outside in” the atrium, and creating a bright, airy commons area. The atrium looks back to the Emerson Courtyard, Bryan Hall and the Business quadrangle, anchoring Hough Hall to the site and the rest of the Warrington College of Business. An exposed grand stair connecting all levels of the building overlooks the atrium. This space constitutes the heart of Hough Hall, and provides an inviting space where students can study and interact, as well as to host alumni, student, and corporate events and receptions. On the south face of the building, covered porch areas on each floor create more space for study and impromptu team meetings. The eastern façade—essentially the gateway to the university—features an artistically designed three-story glazed “bay window,” a lit stairwell which, at night, serves as a beacon to welcome visitors to the UF campus.
As with all new construction projects at UF, Hough Hall has been designed with long‐term sustainability in mind, with an emphasis on energy efficiency. The facility will likely achieve a Gold level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, which signifies that its design and construction promotes environmental quality, resource conservation, and sustainable materials and systems. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: Site Planning, Water Management, Energy Management, Material Use, Indoor Air Quality and Innovation & Design Process.
The facility provides a sense of place to current and future graduate business students, as well as a home for alumni. Made possible through generous gifts from alumni, corporate partners and friends of the College, Hough Hall reflects the HGSB's international stature and symbolizes its commitment to future excellence.
The first floor includes the commons area, administrative offices and a classroom, as well as two seminar rooms, where smaller events can be held, or students and speakers can meet informally following events, lectures, and programs. The auditorium is the locale of larger guest lectures, seminars, and conferences. As a student-centric building, the first floor also features a small “Grab-`n-Go” food area, where students can quickly pick up a snack in between classes or during study sessions, without having to substantially interrupt their workflow.
The second and third floors have attractive, state-of-the-art classrooms, as well as program offices, breakout rooms, student lounges and lockers. All of the classrooms are equipped with modern instructional technology and tiered for case-study style presentations. The Financial Markets Laboratory, located at the second floor landing and overlooking the atrium, is the place where theory meets practice, as students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using Bloomberg terminals, Thompson Datastream, Reuters and a wide spectrum of real business applications. The Lab also features large flat screen monitors to provide broadcasts of CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and other financial news networks. Finally, a prominent stock ticker and electronic stock boards keeps students abreast of market changes with real-time information.
The third floor is the home of the UF MBA Program. In addition to the program staff suite for admissions, administration and student services, a corporate recruitment suite—complete with multi-purpose interview rooms suitable for meeting with mentors and potential employers, and a lounge for recruiters—has been created. A dedicated classroom, collaboration space, lounges and a locker room complete with showers (for sprucing up after an all-night case study session with team members or preparing for an important interview) enhances the educational experience for students in both the full- and part-time MBA programs. The capstone to the third floor is a 25-seat executive boardroom, where students can hone their pitch style in true corporate fashion.