G. Wayne Clough Learning Commons

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

The G. Wayne Clough Learning Commons is a 220,000 square foot, $72 million facility for collaborative learning, scientific instruction, student support and undergraduate life at the center of the Georgia Tech campus. Along with the adjacent existing library facilities, the Clough Commons now forms Georgia Tech's core undergraduate academic facility.

The project created and defined Tech Green, Georgia Tech's new central outdoor green space, incorporated a roof garden that has become one of the school's most popular destination amenities, and unified pedestrian circulation through the heart of the campus. The building's form and envelope were designed and modeled to achieve a balance of solar gain control, campus views and daylight harvesting, utilizing a range of approaches and technologies that vary with building orientation and internal programming. Clough received LEED Platinum certification in 2013.

The building accommodates a wide range of learning spaces from large auditoria to small, informal study corners, including instructional science labs, cutting edge specialty classrooms for distance learning and "Scale-Up" type interactive and experiential learning, breakout rooms for small group discussion and instruction, and reconfigurable open spaces for various modes of learning.

Rather than provide space for individual faculty or academic departments, the facility incorporates various student-focused success programs providing support at all levels: from the writing and communication center and a "Tech Support" office to the tutoring and undergraduate studies programs; all centered on a "Core" help desk. All these are organized around large core zones of daylit, flexibly furnished "Commons" spaces to support student study, interaction and collaboration.

The students, whose needs were at the heart of the design process, have made the Clough Commons a success: the building is fully occupied 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In its first semester alone it was visited over 1,000,000 times, logging over 14,000 instructional hours and over 19,000 tutoring hours; students reserved group study rooms over 10,000 times.


2013 Best of the Best Forum Design Awards, Sustainable Interior Category
IIDA Georgia Chapter
2013 Finalist, Engineering Excellence Award
ACEC Georgia
2012 Design Award
Society of American Registered Architects (SARA)
2012 Merit Award for Design
AIA Philadelphia
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Related Links

News: Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons Achieves LEED Platinum
Client: Other projects for Georgia Institute of Technology