The University of Notre Dame’s Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture is widely known for its traditional teaching methods and emphasis on neo-classical design. When our team, led by John Simpson Architects of London, was tasked with designing the new 100,000-square-foot building, we were challenged to embody classical principles of design, and to develop a facility that maintains the University of Notre Dame's standing as one of the nation’s leading architectural schools.
The space program enables the college, founded in 1898, to conduct its curriculum in classically-inspired rooms equipped with contemporary technologies, and adds the capacity for two new graduate programs in historic preservation and real estate development. The classical exterior, rendered in limestone and brick, teaches traditional design and construction principles.
The Stoa is the heart of the building, providing a stage for everyday informal collaboration and special events. A grand hall modeled on ancient Greek market structures, the Stoa links the main components of the structure, including the design studios, auditorium, library, exhibition hall, and faculty office suites. An exterior plaza serves as the Stoa's outdoor counterpart in providing a gathering space for the exchange of innovative ideas.