Ball State University Master Plan
The Ball brothers started a global enterprise that revolutionized food and beverage containers, and after becoming benefactors of the then-small university, their propensity for business, innovation and ambition began impacting the school’s curriculum.
In alignment with these priorities, our team created the university’s first comprehensive master plan in more than 20 years that focused solely on the student experience, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary engagement and integrated activity.
The goals were two-fold: academic and residential. The academic objective was to transform the purpose-built structures into fluid spaces that would invite exploration. The plan thus recommended the creation of three academic commons as collaborative nodes to enable team-based learning and interdisciplinary exposure. A new East Mall anchors a connected system of open spaces, again encouraging social and academic exchanges while better connecting town and gown.
The densification of student activity was addressed through our plan in the relocation of perimeter housing to the core of the campus. Relocating the center of student life — residence dorms— into the center of academic life, would reconnect the students to each other, and to their main objective on campus: to live and to learn.
As part of the plan, our team conducted a space needs and academic space utilization analysis, identifying space deficits. The analysis highlighted restrictive scheduling practices that lowered classroom and teaching laboratory utilization.
Connecting students to each other, to their studies, and to new opportunities, the master plan takes Ball State University’s reputation, and not only embraces it, but expands it.