HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERTISE

Overview

Today America’s colleges and universities face unprecedented challenges, and, yet, great buildings are still to be found—ones that support an institution’s educational mission, encourage interaction among students and faculty and help to recruit and retain the best and the brightest. These projects are the result of a clear vision, a collaborative process and a creativity that manifests itself beyond mere aesthetics. Acknowledging the unique culture of each institution and advocating for student success as a guiding principle, FGM relishes the challenges and the collaborative spirit inherent in its higher education practice. Our portfolio—ranging from small renovations and additions to new construction—includes academic buildings, science facilities, residence halls, libraries, public safety facilities and student centers. Our success is grounded in our people, our partners and our process.

People
Our practice is led by individuals with extensive experience in successful college and university projects. To stay current with trends and best practices, we actively participate, often in leadership roles, in the following organizations:

  • Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)

  • Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA)

  • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Chapter’s Committee on Architecture for Education
     

Partners
With the wide variety of building types found on college and university campuses, clients expect their design team to bring a keen working knowledge of the programmatic and functional characteristics that define a particular facility, be it a science facility, a residence hall, a student center or any other building type. FGM excels in bringing together and orchestrating a team of experts, offering our clients a thorough knowledge of the trends, best practices, codes and regulations and long term maintenance and operation needs of each building type.

Our successful track record of partnerships with other architects, engineers and specialty consultants is indicative of our collaborative approach to building design and our sensitivity to our clients’ expectations.

Process

When we sit down with a client to program or plan a facility, we don't ask, "What do you want?" or "How many classrooms do you need?" Instead, we ask "What do you want to do?" By discussing the underlying reasons for a project, we can bring our clients better design options for meeting their objectives. We also spend lots of time on campus getting a feel for the culture of the place and those who live and work here. In short, we supplement our past project experience with an understanding of the unique characteristics of each institution. The result is a design solution that meets our clients' aesthetic, functional and technical goals and is firmly rooted in the physical and social context of each campus.

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