Designed in collaboration with Teeple Architects, the new student services building received an Honor Award, the highest level of recognition within the juried program that honors achievements in strategic, integrated planning that results in exemplary buildings and grounds and institutional success.
Reflecting MSU’s identity as a premier HBCU and Maryland’s designated public urban university, a key project focus was to create a gateway building that embodied the university’s heritage, identity, and mission. This included forging stronger connections between the local community, the City of Baltimore, and the university. On the former site of the campus library and a highly traversed campus intersection, the building's signature location was specifically chosen to serve as MSU’s outward face and to bridge the gap between the historic and modern precincts of the campus and the nearby residential community. The university required a progressive and captivating design that could graciously welcome students, visitors, prospective students, and their families while responding to the campus and community context.
Left: Tyler Hall is sited to preserve views of Holmes Hall. Built in 1952, Holmes Hall is located on the Academic Quad and considered the university's signature building.
The jury praised the design, stating:
“As a gateway building, the site plan, building form, and integration of interior and exterior experience combine to successfully create both a monumental marker of arrival while remaining welcoming and unintimidating. The use of stone, with metal highlights, knits the traditional and forward-looking in a manner that reflects the brief challenge to bridge the physical campus as well as past and future.”
The new building creates a one-stop student services hub by co-locating previously dispersed student services, including admissions and recruitment, bursar, career development, community service, financial aid, records and registration, and administrative components, including human resources, IT, Title II, and sponsored programs, into one building to improve the student experience and collaboration. “There is an innovative attitude toward the program that distinguishes this project, taking services and functions that are sometimes relegated to the periphery and centralizing them is a bold step, but one that makes sense in the modern university system. And giving it strong architectural presence only enhances how this can improve student life, and campus community relations,” noted the jury.
Kim McCalla, Associate Vice President, Facilities, Design & Construction Management at Morgan State University, said, “The design team fully embraced our vision and served as team partner from day one. They worked collaboratively, championing an inclusive design process that embraced building, campus, and community stakeholders. The new Tyler Hall strongly asserts Morgan State University as the preeminent public urban research university in Maryland and a true partner to the City of Baltimore, and we could not be prouder of the result.”
Based in Baltimore, GWWO Architects designs buildings that enrich the human experience with an approach that is inspirational, evocative, and progressive. For more than 30 years, the firm has specialized in the design of educational and cultural facilities that are grounded in a focused, in-depth exploration of a project’s goals and context—cultural, historical, and physical. This exploration reveals each project’s essence, which ultimately influences every aspect of design and results in work that is of, by, and about its place and purpose. The firm's work has been recognized with numerous awards for design excellence and sustainability at the local, regional, and national levels. In addition to Tyler Hall, recent projects include the Maryland Institute College of Art Dolphin Design Center, Community College of Baltimore County Carol Diane Eustis Center for Health Professions, and University of Maryland College Park Tawes Hall.