Morgan State University – Calvin & Tina Tyler Hall Student Services Center

  • area / size 141,675 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Teeple Architects designed the Calvin & Tina Tyler Hall Student Services Center for Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore is the largest of Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Founded in 1867, the university was designated a ‘National Treasure’ in 2016 by The National Trust for Historic preservation. Its campus extends from a historic academic quad in a neoclassical style to a campus commons surrounded by modern buildings. Teeple Architects, in collaboration with GWWO Architects, was tasked with designing a student services center that would bridge the historic academic quad and the modern campus commons, while also establishing an iconic and uplifting ‘front-door’ to the University.

    Tyler Hall improves the overall student experience by establishing a welcoming entry point and gathers the University’s formerly dispersed administrative and student services under a single roof. As a student’s first official point of contact with the University, and their key administrative interface throughout their studies, the building was designed to affirm Morgan State’s long-standing position as a preeminent public university with a positive future.

    The new building has an expressive form, with sweeping curved walls that reach out to embrace its surroundings and invite students into the dynamic campus, while its stone cladding links it to history and tradition. Much care was given to finding a limestone cladding that would blend with the palette of Maryland field stone found on the older adjacent buildings while allowing for a more contemporary architectural expression desired by the university. After a thorough material selection process, the university settled on distinctively dark Eramosa limestone from a quarry in Ontario, located three hours north of Teeple’s office. The limestone cladding is accented with prismatic metal cladding that subtly shifts between rich copper and orange hues, depending on the weather, time of day and viewing angle.

    Topographically, both the academic quad and the campus commons sit a full storey above the surrounding neighborhood. To ameliorate the grade separation, there are two connected main entrances, one located at street-level and the other a full storey above at the campus commons. A large, landscaped arrival court invites students and visitors towards the street-level entrance where grand stairs, both interior and exterior, mark a formal procession up to the campus commons-level. With the ground floor partially embedded into the hillside, the landscape encircling the building makes use of terraced rain gardens, or heavily planted bio-retention features designed to passively meet Baltimore’s stringent stormwater management requirements.

    Inside, the building features departmental reception areas and service desks organized along a series of flowing, multi-storey lounges with ample seating, study and collaboration spaces. A monumental stair with gently curved landings, and a continuous wood soffit, forms the connective tissue between the three levels of public lobbies and lounges, leading to various student-facing departments and culminating with a large student services counter.

    A third-floor terrace planted with tall grasses and native pollinator species including Maryland’s state flower, the black-eyed Susan has panoramic views of the academic quad, centered on historic Holmes Hall.

    The iconic new building embodies the university’s pride in its history, and optimism for the future.

    Design: Teeple Architects
    Teeple Design Team: Stephen Teeple, Tomer Diamant, Jason Nelson, Eric Boelling, Nicole Rak, Fadi Salib, Patrick Harvey, Carla Pareja, Eric Oh, Melanie Lo, James Janzer, Cameron Parkin, Miguel Sanchez Enkerlin, Paula Lee, Haotian (HT) Liu, Rob Cheung, Yasser Raees, Kateryna Lokhnina
    Architect: GWWO Architects
    GWWO Design Team: Alan Reed, Eric Feiss, Bob Mock, Jason Hearn, David Ritter, Kevin Miller, Ariana Parrish
    Contractor: Barton Malow
    Photography: Nic Lehoux