The Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF
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Judy Genshaft Honors College, between the arts, sciences, and humanities

Designed to host 2500 high-achieving students, the building is made up of flexible, customizable spaces, organized around a full-height central atrium


The Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF
By Editorial Staff -
Guardian Glass, Delta Light have participated in the project

The Judy Genshaft Honors College in Tampa, Florida, is an environmentally conscious project that grew out of listening to the needs of the students and staff at the University of South Florida (USF). Designed by international studio Morphosis, the building will host 2500 high-achieving students, beginning this autumn.

Organized around a full-height central atrium, the spaces of the Judy Genshaft Honors College have been tailored for the institute’s multidisciplinary program and to strike a balance between the public and private spheres. These two different aspects are reflected by the interplay of solids and voids that characterizes the aluminum clad exterior. The building is sustainable and has obtained LEED Silver certification.

The Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF - Morphosis Photography by Seamus Payne, courtesy of Morphosis

Project Credits

Location: Tampa, Florida, USA
Completion: 2023
Client: University of South Florida
Site Area: 1.30 ha
Building Area: 8,068 m²
Architect: Morphosis

Glass: Guardian Glass
Lighting Fixtures: Delta Light


Photography by Seamus Payne, courtesy of Morphosis

Executive Architect: Fleischman Garcia Architecture; Landscape: Nichols Landscape Architecture; Structures and Façade: Walter P Moore; Civil Engineer: Campo Engineering; Mechanical and Plumbing: TLC Engineering Solutions; Electrical Engineer: Voltair Consulting- Engineers; Lighting: HLB Lighting, Voltair Consulting Engineers; Acoustics: Keane Acoustics; Construction Manager: The Beck Group


Cooperation and multidisciplinarity

Devoted to helping its students and community realize their professional and human potential, USF is one of the most prestigious public universities in the United States and Canada. In late September 2023, USF’s new Judy Genshaft Honors College was inaugurated. Designed for over 2500 cross-disciplinary high-achievers, the building is a clear sign of the importance the school gives to gifted students.

The Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF - Morphosis Photography by Seamus Payne, courtesy of Morphosis

The architects from Morphosis designed this five-level building, with around 8000 m2 of floorspace, to promote interdisciplinary synergy between the arts, sciences, and humanities. The design phase was preceded by a period of listening to, and involving, the future users of the Judy Genshaft Honors College, including students, teachers, and administrative staff.

The pandemic’s heavy influence on the use and perception of common areas led to the design of spaces that are welcoming and open, fluid and flexible, but also easily customizable. The result is a facility that caters to the talents of the individual while also providing the framework for meeting and discussion within a diverse community that’s open to learning.

The building, which has a compact, square footprint, is organized around a central courtyard – a vertical atrium covered with a timber lattice overlooked by numerous suspended capsules that encourage collaboration and exchange between students, teachers, and visitors.

The Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF - Morphosis Photography by Seamus Payne, courtesy of Morphosis


The dialectic between community and privacy

Floor by floor, the building presents an extraordinary multiplicity of possibilities that reflect the varied studies and interests of the honors program students, with educational and social spaces including a culinary workshop, a music lab, an art studio, a seminar room, a cafeteria, and numerous spaces for holding events.

At ground level, a large space adjoining the atrium can be used for major events, meetings, or graduation ceremonies. Upstairs, a large shaded terrace, accessible both from inside and from an outdoor walkway, is connected to an amphitheater designed to host outdoor conferences and performances. The upper floors are organized into smaller spaces intended for individuals and small groups to study, including classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, study rooms, and a culinary workshop for learning about different cultures through their food and nutrition.

Reflecting the building’s alternating community and individual spaces, the project’s design and materials strike a balance between transparency and privacy throughout. Clad with an aluminum panel rainscreen with an iridescent coating, the exterior of the building alternates opaque and glass surfaces with large shaded setbacks, reflecting the dialectic between fullness and emptiness, and between the community and the private spheres.


>>> Discover also the John A. Paulson Center, NYU’s newest complex, jointly designed by Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake


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