Oregon State University Learning Innovation Center

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University Learning Innovation Center

Corvallis, OR

This remarkable addition to our campus has proven to be the most popular academic classroom building for students and faculty alike, and it will positively shape learning outcomes for our OSU community for generations to come.

Edward Ray, OSU President

The Learning Innovation Center and its landscape quad define a new precinct on Oregon State University’s historic Olmsted campus. It provides a home for the Honors College while serving every department in the university with 2,300 classroom seats in 14 unique settings and 640 seats of informal learning space distributed around the building, creating a hub for multi-disciplinary interaction.

We were challenged to produce big lecture halls that could create learning outcomes like smaller and more intimate classrooms. To pull this off, we had to work closely with the instructors to imagine an experience that hadn’t been seen before. This inquisitive process enabled us to design for the ways in which learning takes place. The key is to create the most engaging interaction possible between the instructors and the students. Proximity is crucial, yet in most large lecture halls students sit far away from the instructor. We also learned that providing informal study and break-out spaces is critical.

By flipping the traditional academic building design and wrapping generous hallways with informal study areas around the perimeter, we eased the congestion of student flow between classes while creating comfortable pockets and nodes that encouraged learning to continue outside the classroom.

Both the 600-seat and 300-seat Arena classrooms utilize teaching in the round to bring students as close to the instructors as possible. Configured to adapt to emerging technology, and ringed with continuous screens, every seat in the classroom is a good seat. The 185-seat Parliament classroom is configured for debate and conversation, an idea we took from the British Parliament. The Learning Studios are designed for students working in groups to accommodate different pedagogies.

The building also provides a home for the Integrated Learning Resource Center, a new department that supports instructors in using the technology and techniques required for these innovative teaching spaces. Already, faculty are telling us that class outcomes are higher than ever before.




The Shalleck Collaborative
Sparling, Inc.
Walker Macy

PAE Consulting Engineers
Anderson Krygier
The Shalleck Collaborative
Fortis Construction