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Gruskin Group wins grand prize in NJ Concrete Awards for Kean University building in Union

The Gruskin Group was recently awarded the Grand Prize at the 51st Annual New Jersey Concrete Awards for its design of the Green Lane building at Kean University in Union.

The awards ceremony, sponsored by the New Jersey Concrete and Aggregate Association and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, was held at The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, on May 8. Gruskin Group, an integrated design firm, also won an AIA Newark and Suburban Architects Gold award for its design of the Green Lane building in the unbuilt category, which opened for classes in January.

“We are honored that our design for this building has been appreciated by so many,” said Kenneth A. Gruskin, AIA, principal and founder of Gruskin Group. “The building is a testament to Kean University, the Kean Board of Trustees, and Dr. Dawood Farahi’s pursuit of providing a world-class education and the facilities to match. Without their vision, this out-of-the-box design would not have been conceivable. The Green Lane building is a good example of where design for higher education is headed – with a greater emphasis on creating a more engaging, experiential and memorable on-campus, multi-faceted student experience.”

The six-story, multi-use building, which houses the university’s new Robert Busch School of Design and its expanding business programs, serves as a campus gateway. It is noted for its distinctive undulating glass façade, and its exterior skin is designed to facilitate a connection between building occupants inside and the local community outside.

Unlike most academic buildings that are typically located on access-controlled campuses or set back far from public roads and walkways, the Green Lane building offers access in several ways to those outside the Kean University community. It features a Barnes & Noble college bookstore and cafe, classroom and administration space, and a conference center and rooftop terrace offering views of New York City.

A dramatic promenade connects Kean’s main campus to the new Green Lane building and features a series of trees, plush planters, and benches arranged in a geometry that continues the building’s narrative. Ultimately, this leads to Green Lane’s escalera, a grand stair that sweeps up to the second floor that is the main entrance to the academic portion of the building. The escalera also features an integrated heating system to keep ice and snow from accumulating on its steps for the safety of its users during the winter season. On sunny days year-round, students can be found studying or socializing on the escalera’s south facing, bleacher-like section.

Gruskin Group is an integrated design firm that builds unified brand experiences through architecture, brand development, visual communications, web/interactive, industrial design, interior design, strategic consulting, and sustainable design.

In 2014, Gruskin Group was named among the New York Region’s top 100 design firms by ENR, among the top retail design firms nationally by VMSD (19), and among the top 25 design firms in New Jersey by NJBiz. In addition, the firm has been ranked among the top firms nationally by Architectural Record, DDi and Commercial Construction Magazine and has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000. The firm and its professionals’ award-winning work has been recognized by AIA, The American Concrete Institute, the Retail Design Institute, Chain Store Age, ICSC, ASID, New York Ad Club, New Jersey Ad Club, Graphis, and the Association of Graphic Communications. For additional information, visit

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