University of Michigan, Modern Languages Building

  • Customer University of Michigan
  • Architect Green Furniture Concept
  • Year 2021
  • Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
We even have students from outside the Modern Languages program coming out of there way, just to be in this space!
Rob Ramsburgh, Facility Manager - Facilities and Operations - Office of the Dean, University of Michigan

The Modern Languages Building at the University of Michigan was built in the late 60s. Brick walls and cement columns were the foundation of style for this cold utilitarian space that spans 5 floors and houses classrooms, lecture halls and offices. On any given day, there are 1500-2000 students and faculty using this space.

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trees planted thanks to this project

For the longest time, however, this building didn’t have much furniture in it. This meant a lack of community space and a lack of areas for students to charge their devices between classes. All the students were sitting on the floor or leaning against the walls. In essence, they were only there because they needed to be.

The school felt an urgent need to foster a stronger sense of community for this faculty, so they went on a mission to improve the building’s interior. The challenge was to make an impactful change without embarking on a costly renovation project, so the Facilities Team decided to start with the addition of inviting furniture.

One of the major considerations for the architects was to find a line of furniture that was customizable. This was so important because the building has a lot of tight corners that are hard to fill with traditional furniture. With the Nova C Series, the U of M team was able to specify benches with custom curves to fit into the tight corners. This turned otherwise dead space into cosy nooks that are very popular with the students.

The Facilities Team was also very drawn to the company’s Green story and the furniture’s unique and timeless look, not to mention the rugged durability and low maintenance requirements of the Nova C Series.

With the help of Green’s in-house design team, the school was able to furnish 3 full floors in this building. This simple, yet effective effort was a huge success. Now the building has become very popular, with approximately 60 students hanging out at any given time. Students are saying it’s hard to find such great community spaces in other parts of campus. They even come from outside the Modern Languages Faculty just to hang out in this building, because they feel like they can always find a spot to just work quietly or rest for a while.

U of M (Before)

Before Green's Placemaking

Previously, students had no seating outside classrooms or teacher's offices and they were forced to sit on the floor or lean against the walls

university of michigan Rendering

In-House Design Consultation

Working with the University's Architect, our in-house design consultants focused on adding seating to several spaces on the 1st and 2nd floors, where students usually spend time - especially hallways and common areas.

university of michigan nova c

From "dead" corners to "coveted" nooks

This is a building with lots of sharp angles. Previously, these corners were a waste of space, but with the Nova C Series, they have turned into popular nooks for the student community.

Products in this project

Modules

Nova C Back 100

Article number: NBA1
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Nova C Back 150

Article number: NBA5
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Nova C Back Convex 30°

Article number: NBA3_30
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Nova C Back Convex 45°

Article number: NBA3_45
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Nova C Back Convex 90°

Article number: NBA3_90
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Nova C Back Concave 30°

Article number: NBA4_30
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Nova C Back Concave 45°

Article number: NBA4_45
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Nova C Back Concave 90°

Article number: NBA4_90
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Nova C Back S-Curve L

Article number: NBA6_L
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Nova C Back S-Curve R

Article number: NBA6_R
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Nova C Back Endpiece L

Article number: NBA7_L
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Nova C Back Endpiece R

Article number: NBA7_R
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Nova C Back Endpiece Corner

Article number: NBA8
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Add-ons

Nova C Wireless Table

Article number: NBX_TW
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Nova C Back Armrest

Article number: NBA_A
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Nova C F&B Armrest

Article number: NBA_A2
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Nova C Table

Article number: NBX-XX
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Nova C F&B Armrest w/Charger

Article number: NBA_A3
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Nova C Logo on Rib

Article number: NBA_RL
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Nova C Leg Charger

Article number: A01D_x
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Nova C Rib Charger

Article number: NBA_RC
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Nova C Divider

Article number: A01E_3
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Nova C Divider Concave

Article number: A01E_2
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Nova C Divider Convex

Article number: A01E_1
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Configurations

Nova C Back Straight

Article number: NBAC7
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Nova C Back Donut

Article number: NBAC6
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Nova C Back Circle

Article number: NBAC1
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Nova C Back Bracket Convex

Article number: NBAC3
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Nova C Back Bracket Concave

Article number: NBAC2
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Nova C Back Omega

Article number: NBAC4
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Nova C Back Wiggly

Article number: NBAC8
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Nova C Back Tilde

Article number: NBAC10
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Nova C Back Ondular

Article number: NBAC9
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Nova C Back Infinity

Article number: NBAC5
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Nova C Back Stadium

Article number: NBAC11
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Nova C Bowtie

Article number: NBAC12
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Nova C Crossroad 3 Small

Article number: NBXC3
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Nova C Crossroad 4 Small

Article number: NBXC4
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Nova C Crossroad 3 Large

Article number: NBXC6
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Nova C Fidget Small

Article number: NBXC6
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Nova C Fidget

Article number: NBXC5
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Nova C Eye

Article number: NBAC13
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Nova C Droplet

Article number: NBAC13
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Nova C T-Connection

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Modules

Nova C Bench 100

Article number: NBE1
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Nova C Bench 150

Article number: NBE5
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Nova C Bench 30°

Article number: NBE2_30
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Nova C Bench 45°

Article number: NBE2_45/30
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Nova C Bench 90°

Article number: NBE2_90
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Add-ons

Nova C Wireless Table

Article number: NBX_TW
Details

Nova C Bench Armrest

Article number: NBE_A
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Nova C Table

Article number: NBX-XX
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Nova C Logo on Rib

Article number: NBA_RL
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Nova C Leg Charger

Article number: A01D_x
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Configurations

Nova C Bench Straight

Article number: NBEC8
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Nova C Bench Wiggly

Article number: NBEC6
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Nova C Bench Ondular

Article number: NBEC9
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Nova C Bench Tilde

Article number: NBEC5
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Nova C Bench Bracket

Article number: NBEC2
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Nova C Bench Donut

Article number: NBEC7
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Nova C Bench Circle

Article number: NBEC1
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Nova C Bench Omega

Article number: NBEC3
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Nova C Bench Stadium

Article number: NBEC10
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Nova C Bench Infinity

Article number: NBEC4
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Modules

Leaf Lamp Tree S

Article number: LLT130
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Leaf Lamp Tree M

Article number: LLT230
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Leaf Lamp Tree L

Article number: LLT300
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Add-ons

Leaf Lamp Link Tree Baseplate

Article number: LLT01
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Modules

Nova C Perch

Article number: NPE1
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Nova C Perch Convex 30°

Article number: NPE3_30
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Nova C Perch Convex 45°

Article number: NPE3_45
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Nova C Perch Concave 30°

Article number: NPE4_30
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Nova C Perch Concave 45°

Article number: NPE4_45
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Green educational spaces

Our approach creates the right kind of learning environment, making it easier for students to learn, share knowledge and ideas. We’re passionate about healthy school environments. That’s why we choose natural materials that have a positive impact on well-being and create places that benefit students and educators. Our seating is durable and easy to maintain, while our surface designs provide places to prepare for lessons and recharge devices.

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