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The Journal of Architectural Glass Concept


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Breaking the Box - One Glass Panel at a Time

Kean University’s latest addition to its Union, New Jersey, campus, a 102,275 sq.ft. mixed-use academic building, opened to students for classes in January 2014.

Located at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Green Lane, the undulating glass, stone, concrete, and brick building is designed to serve as a gateway icon, marking the west entrance to Kean’s campus. The six-story building, which is designed to provide both a stimulating and metaphorical environment for learning, includes a Barnes & Noble college bookstore on the first floor, classroom and administration space on floors two through five, and a conference center and rooftop terrace on the sixth floor.

The building also serves as the home for Kean’s new Robert Busch School of Design, as well as the University’s expanding business programs.


The building uses glass extensively outside and inside as a major design feature that not only defines its architectural character, but is an essential element in communicating its conceptual ideas to its occupants and the surrounding community. To truly appreciate the design intent of the building, the narrative that shaped every decision and was especially critical to one of the building’s most defining and dramatic features, the glass curtain wall, needs to be considered.

University President Dr. Dawood Y. Farahi’s vision was to not only mark the campus entry with a bold architectural statement, but to announce to visitors, the general public, and Kean’s student population that they are about to experience something special upon entering the campus and this building. The building’s architecture was designed to bring the promise of Kean’s world-class education to life — to create an exciting facility that will capture the imaginations of students, parents, and teachers alike; to communicate that this is a place for individuals who aspire to personal and professional success, and desire academic excellence.

Dr. Farahi framed up the project in his Green Lane building opening remarks: “Kean University is dedicated to the intellectual, cultural, and personal growth of its students, faculty, and professional staff alike. In particular, we are committed to preparing our students to think critically, creatively, and globally. The new Green Lane building is another important step for Kean in providing world-class facilities and educational opportunities for its students. Gruskin Group’s vision for the building’s design was a compelling one that reflected these values.”

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