Morphosis Breaks Ground on Judy Genshaft Honors College at the University of South Florida
New, purpose-built facility to feature flexible outdoor and indoor spaces to enhance opportunities for community building, collaboration, and creativity
Global architecture and design firm Morphosis announced the groundbreaking on a new, purpose-built facility for the Judy Genshaft Honors College at the University of South Florida (USF). Situated on USF’s campus in Tampa, Florida, the five-story, 85,000-square-foot building marks a significant milestone in the university’s ongoing expansion and growth. When complete, the building will provide an inspiring and welcoming new home for the Honors Program by providing ample flexible spaces that foster and enhance interdisciplinary exchange between students, faculty, staff, and the broader USF community. Construction is expected to be completed in late fall 2022.
Highly visible from USF’s central campus and accessible via multiple entry points, the design for the new building emphasizes spaces that promote community engagement, collaboration, and creativity. A centrally located atrium anchors the building, which will house classrooms, labs, study areas, offices, and a publicly accessible café. The atrium, which connects all users into a single spatial experience, is lined with learning lofts that encourage interaction and collaboration. On the ground floor, flexible spaces adjacent to the atrium can be opened and combined to accommodate large-scale events. The second floor features an exterior, shaded terrace—accessible from inside and outside of the building—which serves as an outdoor study and meeting space. Overlooking the campus Quad, this terrace is also connected to an outdoor amphitheater.
“The new Judy Genshaft Honors College will bring together brilliant young scholars, scientists, and artists under a single new home. The building provides an expansive and unique set of spaces which reflect the diversity of the Honors College community, ranging from music rooms to lab spaces to a kitchen studio. It’s ultimately a place of collaboration, discussion, exploration, and, most importantly, engagement,” said Morphosis Partner and Project Principal Ung-Joo Scott Lee.
The lower-form of the five-story building promotes greater pedestrian activity, which in turn increases the frequency of casual encounters and informal meetings critical for interdisciplinary collaboration. Through sustainable forms and features, the new facility strives to achieve LEED silver in accordance with USF’s campus-wide environmental goals.
“The Judy Genshaft Honors College building will be a remarkable enhancement to our world-class Honors College and will benefit USF, its students and its faculty. The new building will advance USF’s strategic goals and long-term aspirations to attract and support the success of Florida’s most accomplished students. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of Judy Genshaft and Steve Greenbaum,” USF President Steve Currall said.
Among the nation’s premier public honors colleges, USF’s Judy Genshaft Honors College brings together students, faculty, and advisors in a close academic community that provides specialized experiences as well as advanced educational and scholarship opportunities. Since its founding, the Honors College has been housed in different locations across USF’s campus, though a continuously evolving curriculum has necessitated a dedicated space for its program. The new, purpose-built facility will not only provide the Honors College with a free-standing building tailored to its program and strategically woven into USF’s campus, but will also allow it to accommodate an additional 600 students, bringing its total number of students to 3,000.