Waco, TX

Baylor University Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation




The Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, designed by Overland Partners Architects, is the newest addition to the Baylor University campus. A model for higher education academic buildings, this new facility delivers a broad range of 21st-century learning environments within a global business setting. Adam Bush of Overland Partners explains that the building’s environmentally responsible design promotes collaboration among students and faculty, incorporates a broad range of technology-rich learning environments, and provides flexibility and adaptability to accommodate new teaching methods, changes in academic departmental needs, and future technologies over the building’s long life.

The Foster Campus is organized around a central atrium, the design of which was guided by requirements for natural light, circulation, and spatial variety for individual study and group collaboration. Acting similar to a town square for the Foster Campus, the facility’s Earl C. Hankamer Atrium encourages interaction among students and showcases signature programs and learning environments. Daylighting was integral to the atrium design and is provided through a unique array of skylight coffers. Each coffer was designed with a unique aperture to optimize light on each floor as the sun changes location throughout the day and throughout the year. The design provides for diffused light on the upper floors to minimize glare and solar heat gain while providing ample light on the atrium floor below.  This energy-efficient, sustainable daylighting design approach provides a welcoming, naturally lit environment for students, faculty, and guests, while also providing visceral and visual connections to the outdoors.


The design of the atrium, as well as the BASWA Phon product, helped create a comfortable acoustical environment that greatly improves social interaction and overall occupant comfort.

Adam Bush, Overland Partners

The overall acoustical performance within the atrium provides the Baylor Business School with the flexibility to utilize this inspirational space for a variety of functions, including a recently completed and highly successful Leadership and Innovation Summit for 600 attendees.

Adam Bush, Overland Partners

Over 7,000 square feet of 30 mm BASWA Phon Classic Fine Finish was used within the atrium ceiling coffers. The acoustical plaster system is applied to one light reflecting plane within each coffer and is, quite literally, seamlessly integrated with the adjacent coffer surfaces. These absorptive planes absorb a variety of sound frequencies and greatly reduce reverberation with the space.

Another 2,700 square feet of BASWA Phon was installed in the 350 seat auditorium which serves as a large classroom as well as a space for guest lectures. The octogonal space incorporated BASWA Phon onto the multi-paneled, concave ceiling in addition to the perimeter soffit allowing students and faculty to experience speech clarity.

Now you can watch Baylor's new business school come to life in this video courtesy of Overland Partners. See the BASWA Phon installation by Baker Triangle at the 1:04 mark.

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Baylor University Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation

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