New Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center

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The conceptual plan for the new Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center includes removal of the existing admissions center and construction of a new admissions center of approximately 20,700 gross square feet, to be designed by Charles Rose Architects.

Renovation and expansion of the existing facility was initially carefully explored as an option, but was rejected as not coming close enough to meeting the programmatic requirements of the admissions center and as not being cost effective. Though the current admissions building, renovated in 1994 by Centerbrook, has been very well liked, it provides only 10,400 square feet, compared to the current desired program of approximately 20,600 square feet.

Expansion was ruled out, because key roads and circulation paths prevent that to the east and the west. Building upward was considered (adding a second level to the building), but examination revealed that the structural system would need to be largely reinforced and rebuilt, requiring substantial deconstruction and reconstruction of the building.

The new building, by Charles Rose Architects, has been designed to fully accommodate the admissions center vision, which includes

  • a welcome center, with graphic displays celebrating Brandeis University’s history and highlighting faculty and student accomplishments
  • a financial services satellite office to provide information to waiting parents and prospective students
  • all admissions center functions, including a 100-seat presentation room and state-of-the art presentation technologies
  • a waiting area accommodating 100 visitors
  • support operations
  • enlarged visitor restrooms. (Mechanicals are in the basement and in a corner of the second floor, hidden from view.)

Construction documents were completed in September 2008. Demolition of the former admissions building took place in August 2008 and construction of the new Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center was completed on schedule in time for occupancy of the center in the first week of October.

Creation of the new admissions quad, framed by the admissions center, Slosberg Music and Ridgewood Residence Hall A, is also complete.

A new portion of the Brandeis Walk (the central pedestrian spine) runs through this space, connecting the section of the Brandeis Walk adjacent to the Village Residence Hall with the section adjacent to the Great Lawn in front of the Shapiro Campus Center.  This new connection has been anticipated since the 2001 Chan Krieger campus plan for Brandeis.

Elements of sustainable design and construction incorporated in the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center are highlighted in the sustainability sign displayed in the Admissions Center.