Morgan State University (MSU) is one of the nation’s premier historically black institutions of higher education and the largest in Maryland. The goal for this new student services center was to bridge the historic neoclassical style academic quad and the modern campus commons, while establishing an iconic and uplifting university ‘front-door’.
The Calvin and Tina Tyler Hall Student Services Centre improves the student experience by establishing a welcoming entry point for current and prospective students and by gathering the university’s formerly dispersed student services and administrative functions. As a student’s first official point of contact, and their administrative interface, the building was designed to affirm MSU’s long-standing position as a preeminent public university.
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. Topographically, the academic quad and the campus commons sit a story above the surrounding neighborhood. To negotiate the grade separation, there are two connected main entrances: one at street-level and the other 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.
Inside, the building features reception areas and service desks organized along a series of flowing, multi-story lounges with 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, anchored by a student services counter. A landscaped terrace on the third floor affords panoramic views of the academic quad, centered on historic Holmes Hall. The iconic building embodies the university’s pride in its history, and optimism for the future.