All schools & programs >

School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Visit their website » Print...


The School of Architecture, Design and Planning is at the western end of Jayhawk Boulevard on the Lawrence campus. It occupies several large adjacent buildings with additional facilities in Lawrence and Kansas City.

The school has been headquartered in Marvin Hall since its founding. The main administrative offices are there along with the departmental offices for Architecture and Urban Planning. The Architectural Resource Center and Hatch Reading Room are in Marvin Hall along with 18 design studios, several classrooms, offices for architecture and planning faculty, woodworking and metal shops, three computer labs, and critique spaces on each floor. A covered building yard is situated on the south side of the building.

Snow Hall, directly across Jayhawk Boulevard from Marvin Hall, contains six architecture studios and a number of faculty and staff offices. An open-access computer lab and a well-equipped model-building shop are in Snow Hall, along with a large critique and display area for student work. Marvin Studios, formerly known as Broadcasting Hall when it housed the campus radio station, is just behind Marvin Hall. It includes four architectural design studios, an acoustics lab, a computer lab, an HVAC lab, a laser-cutter lab, display and critique areas, and several faculty offices.

The school’s west campus Building Technology Lab is in KU’s Facilities and Operations Warehouse. This large, open lab is used as an assembly area for design-build projects, as a building materials testing center, and as a research space for large-scale projects focused on building support systems. The school’s Design-Build Center is in the East Hills Industrial Park on Highway K-10 in East Lawrence. This 63,000-square-foot, open-span building acquired in 2009 is the site of design-build studios, including the internationally acclaimed Studio 804. It includes studio design spaces, offices, conference areas, shop facilities, and large assembly areas for indoor construction of modular buildings.

Since 1987, the school has supported an urban design studio and a public education and community outreach center in Kansas City. The two programs operate together in the Kansas City Design Center at 1020 Baltimore Avenue in the heart of downtown Kansas City. This large street-front location includes working space for an entire architectural design studio as well as offices for instructors, exhibitions areas, and conference and meeting spaces for events that include community partners and sponsors.

The 130,000-square-foot Art and Design Building houses the main design department programs, including studios and offices. The building houses the 2,100-square-foot Art and Design Gallery, which features new exhibits every two weeks and is an important component of the teaching mission. Each major program offers all students spacious work areas and a range of equipment, from traditional to the newest digital technology. Students have access to multiplatform computer labs with the most commonly used current software for photography, animation, CAD, 3-D modeling, video production, desktop publishing, scanning, illustration, large- and medium-format plotters, and color and black-and-white laser printers. Unique satellite computer areas are dedicated to each major area. Students should purchase a computer to assist in their course work. This purchase can be factored into a student’s financial aid. Computer information can be found here. Students have access to a traditional film Photography Lab, which includes a dark room for black-and-white photography as well as a digital processing lab with dedicated spaces for video and digital image production and an equipment checkout facility. The 6,400-square-foot Common Shop includes a range of woodworking equipment, a plastic vacuum former, metal-working equipment, and classroom space. All computer and photo labs and the common shop have professionally trained technical support staff.

The historic Chamney Barn and Farmstead, a converted native limestone farmhouse and barn on the western edge of the Lawrence campus, houses the school’s Center for Design Research. Corporate-sponsored projects are supervised by design faculty and executed by graduate students and advanced undergraduates. This fully equipped facility has become a connection between the academic and professional worlds of design as well as a focus for collaborations among applied design areas and other KU units.

The Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art houses the only comprehensive art collection in Kansas. Collections are particularly noteworthy in medieval art, 17th- and 18th-century German and Austrian painting, sculpture, American painting, prints, American photography, Japanese art of the Edo period, textiles (especially quilts), and decorative arts. Spencer Museum sponsors exhibitions, lectures, films, workshops, and activities that support curricular instruction in the arts. Another important resource is the Murphy Art and Architecture Library, with 150,000 volumes and 600 current journals documenting design, and architecture from all cultures, from antiquity to the present.