Sacred Heart University Martire Business & Communications Center
Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
Housing both the John F. Welch College of Business and the Department of Communications and Media Studies programs, the Martire Center is a dynamic multi-disciplinary nexus located on a gateway site at the campus's northern edge. The unique building program combines contemporary learning spaces for business and communications, including an active trading floor; case study classrooms; interactive labs; multimedia classrooms; two large studios for television, video and film production; industry-standard post-production facilities and screening venues; a multi-media forum for leadership institutes, lectures and screenings; conference rooms and lounges for meetings between faculty and students; student success center; food service and dining area; and faculty offices. The building houses The Executive Leadership Institute, which gathers national and international speakers to address the contemporary issues confronting business and education.
A two-story atrium unites the program elements and serves as a crossroads of social and intellectual activity. Within the atrium, a café and loose furniture encourage a friendly, collaborative atmosphere. A grand staircase anchoring the north end of the atrium serves also as additional seating. Areas for group study and active circulation surround the atrium, spanning and connecting both levels. The atrium also ties together the main entry court and the lower entry court. The main entry court includes a reflective water feature integrated with sculptural art. Seat walls in the landscape, shaded by trees, offer informal areas for gathering. The lower entry court provides a pedestrian connection to the campus to the south, and creates an iconic view of the archway for those approaching from campus. The lower entry court, the courtyard, and the main entry court at Park Avenue are all tied together by a series of sculptural trees.
The Martire Center balances traditional and contemporary, both in its architectural expression and approach to learning. The Center is the starting point of a network of buildings and open space that includes the Great Green, the Chapel, and the Linda E. McMahon Commons—each also designed by Sasaki and tied together by pedestrian paths leading diagonally through campus.