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Facility Focus PHOTOS © ANTON GRASSL/ESTO CL A SSROOM SPACES University of Connecticut Oak Hall and Laurel Hall T WO NEW CLASSROOM buildings frame the center of campus where two primary pedestrian paths cross. Tied together by a new sustainable landscape, the buildings, designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates of Boston, provide a home for ﬁve social sciences and humanities departments and house a total of 40 new high-technology classroom facilities, ranging from a 400-seat lecture hall to small seminar rooms. Each classroom and faculty ofﬁce has daylight, student seating, and waiting space is provided near each. Smaller classrooms use innovative seating that allows ﬂexible conﬁgurations. Larger ﬂat-ﬂoor classrooms allow ﬂexible scenarios where students turn around to share the table with students behind for team breakout sessions. Sloped-ﬂoor lecture spaces support various teaching styles allowing movement throughout the student seating area without stepped level changes. Education-driven challenges included: creating a classroom-only building at Laurel Hall to be enjoyed and treated respectfully by students and suitable for conferences in conjunction with the nearby Student Union, designing a variety of classroom and lecture hall spaces to criteria for advanced learning and high-tech teaching support, and creating specialized classrooms and labs to departmental criteria including computerized language labs, journalism interview/ production spaces, linguistic laboratories, department-speciﬁc conference spaces, and shared colloquium spaces. Laurel Hall (68,000 gross sq. ft.) is organized around a light-ﬁlled central atrium. Two large lecture halls are housed in a compact copper volume with an extensively planted green roof; 17 smaller classrooms are stacked in a three-story brick volume. Oak Hall (133,000 gross sq. ft.) creates an exterior public space comprised of two interconnected courtyards. A large windowed lecture hall and 10 classrooms occupy the ground level surrounding the courtyards. The three upper ﬂoors accommodate an additional 10 smaller classrooms, as well as the ﬁve departments and their several hundred ofﬁces and specialized teaching spaces. APRIL 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 67