The Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center, Olin School of Business, at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, was recently built as a residential living and learning center on the campus. The facility is five stories tall and contains 66 guest bedrooms, 28 small-group breakout rooms, five high-tech classrooms, a dining room that serves 225, a full-service business center, a boardroom, a fitness center and a pub.

Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, Inc. of Boston, MA, and Paradigm Architects in St. Louis designed the 135,000-square-foot center to reflect the university's original collegiate Gothic architecture.

“We wanted to design and build an executive education center which fits well into the neo-Gothic campus, and at the same time functions as a state-of-the-

arts facility,” said Bruno Pfister, Partner-in-Charge at Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects. “We tried to match the exterior walls with the ones which were built 100 years ago and meet current technical standards.”

For the exterior, Missouri Red granite, Charcoal Gray granite and Indiana Buff limestone were selected to clad the facade of the facility. “These stones were chosen to match existing older and newer granite buildings on the campus,” said Pfister. “No other stones were considered.”

The Missouri Red granite has a rock-face finish, and 64,464 units of the stone came from a quarry in Ironton, MO, and were supplied by St. Louis Stone & Supply in Hazelwood, MO. The Charcoal Gray granite also has a rock-face finish, and was supplied in a smaller quantity for bands around the building, from Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN. The limestone was quarried and supplied by Indiana Limestone Co. in Bedford, IN. Leonard Masonry of Hazelwood, MO, installed the stone.

“St. Louis Stone and Leonard Masonry are separate companies, but are on the same premises,” explained Brad Kasten, who works for Leonard Masonry, and managed the project for both companies. “St. Louis Stone had a contract through Washington University to furnish and install the stone, and they subcontracted Leonard Masonry to do the installation.

“We installed about 35,000 square feet of granite veneer for the job - which had stones cut from a quarry in Ironton, MO - and about 10,000 cubic feet of limestone.”

Construction of the building took place over a 10-month schedule, with 40 workers at the peak of construction. “The granite was all laid up in mortar, and tied back to concrete for the veneer,” said Kasten. “The limestone on the facade's trim was anchored back with stainless steel. We used a pre-mixed mortar for the granite to keep the color consistent.”

Though the installation aspect was not any more a challenge for the workers than past Washington University projects, there were some difficulties faced. “It was a tight site, so we couldn't have a lot of material stored on site,” said Kasten. “There was also tight sequencing, as we worked on a fairly aggressive construction schedule. But everything worked out.”

Another of the architects' objectives was to integrate executive students into the unique campus of Washington University. The building's interior was therefore designed to spatially reintroduce the executives to an academic environment.

The building, though its exterior is traditional, houses advanced technology. The interior design also includes terrazzo floors, red-oak paneling, polished mahogany granite, alabaster lighting and lounges. Since its opening in early July, executive education activities for Olin have tripled, and the building has blended well with the surrounding campus. “People feel that the new building is an integral part of the 100-year-old campus, which is well respected and liked,” said Pfister.

End Box

Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center
Olin School of Business
Washington University
St. Louis, MO

Architects: Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, Inc., Boston, MA;
Paradigm Architects, St. Louis, MO
Stone Suppliers: Indiana Limestone Co., Bedford, IN (limestone); St. Louis
Stone & Supply, Hazelwood, MO (Missouri Red granite); Cold Spring
Granite Co., Cold Spring, MN (Charcoal Gray granite)
Stone Installers: St. Louis Stone & Supply, Hazelwood, MO; Leonard Masonry,
Hazelwood, MO