Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business David A. Tepper Quadrangle

  • area / size 2,018 sqft
  • Completed 315,000
  • Moore Ruble Yudell worked with Renaissance 3 Architects to complete the Tepper School of Business David A. Tepper Quadrangle as a gathering place for Carnegie Mellon University students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    The Tepper School of Business serves as the focal point for strategic connections and collaborations across Carnegie Mellon University’s north campus. The school had outgrown its site on the periphery of campus and asked Moore Ruble Yudell to design a new home at the heart of campus, creating a new research and education model that offers flexible spaces for individual, collaborative, and interdisciplinary work.

    To foster spontaneous interaction among students and faculty, the design team organized the five-story building around a central atrium surrounded by wide staircases. Large floor plates provide expansive open areas with no corridors, while curving terraces along the atrium at each level are equipped with a variety of seating areas for informal gathering.

    The exterior consists of rectilinear volumes clad in masonry, counterpointed with glazed “void” elements that are syncopated and rotated to break up the visual mass. The building’s contemporary expression respects the campus’s historic buildings, which rely on a buff-colored masonry. In response to Pittsburgh’s frequently overcast skies, the design team customized a masonry mix that gives the Tepper Quad warmth even on the cloudiest day.

    In addition to the business school, Tepper Quad includes a variety of other program elements to encourage collaboration. The first floor houses the campus welcome center, the undergraduate admissions office, a 600-seat multipurpose auditorium, a technology-rich interactive learning space devoted to the study of global languages and culture, a fitness center, and a technology-enhanced learning center. Upper floors include a total of 24 classrooms; offices; the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, which hosts startup incubators for students; an undergraduate commons and a graduate commons, which provide dining and food service; an executive education center; and conference and event space. Parking is tucked underground.

    The building is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. The innovative concrete flat slab solution incorporates bubbles of recycled plastic to create a honeycomb structure, which reduces the building’s embodied carbon by over 30% and minimizes the need for columns in the expansive floor plates.

    Extensive glazing brings natural light into 85 percent of the interiors. A rainwater collection system stores rainwater for reuse in irrigation and toilet flushing, cutting water consumption by 50 percent. An underfloor air distribution on the second and third floors, combined with radiant slabs in the atrium, lowers heating and cooling costs.

    The Tepper Quad provides a major new open space for the campus, connecting across Forbes Avenue to the campus’s historic green spaces, the Cut and the Mall.

    Architecture: Moore Ruble Yudell and Renaissance 3 Architects
    Photography: Albert Vecerka, Colins Lozada, Ed Rambout