The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, Robert B. Rowling Hall

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The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, Robert B. Rowling Hall

A stage for spontaneous collaboration, purposeful interaction, sharing ideas and networking, Robert Rowling Hall defines a powerful new identity for the McCombs School. The design is the physical embodiment of the highest ideals for business and business education – invention, innovation and human interaction through collaborative engagement and problem-solving.

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Business school education has evolved rapidly and much has changed, yet much remains the same. While the design of Rowling Hall at the McCombs School anticipates and welcomes a more actively diverse curriculum and student body base, it also recognizes the stability of and continued need for business networks. These networks both progressively and historically are merged in the design as a continuum and recognition of the unfolding future of business education.

Todd Schliemann, Design Partner

A metaphorical geode, the building design juxtaposes an elegant limestone outer perimeter, which directly references the venerable buildings of the historic campus, with a faceted, glassy inner perimeter that maximizes transparency, accessibility and visibility to reinforce community. 

Courtesy of UT McCombs School of Business

Rowling Hall will serve as a hub for graduate students to meet with peers, faculty, recruiters and members of the business community to openly exchange ideas, network and work in teams, just as they will in the business world.

Dean Thomas Gilligan

A central, public entry plaza establishes the building as a destination creates a dramatic sense of arrival and continues the rich network of green spaces that characterizes the campus.

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The five-story arrival space showcases business school activities and forms the building’s social center. All levels link directly to this gathering space, while also connecting to a cascading array of outdoor terraces that enhance the visibility of the McCombs academic community. 

Combining classrooms and gathering spaces that flexibly support traditional and progressive teaching methods, the building serves McCombs’ network of overlapping communities: students from all programs, faculty, staff and visitors, including alumni, recruiters, interdisciplinary collaborators and business leaders.

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The app is a leading example of how firms in the architecture, engineering and construction industry can transform their client communications.


In 2014, Ennead and Jacobs created a companion iPad app for Robert B. Rowling Hall, available for free download from iTunes. With the app, users can scroll through design renderings, view floor-by-floor information, explore a panorama of the existing site, track the progress of construction, learn about the school and contact the development team at McCombs.


Austin, TX
497,500 GSF
MBA Graduate Program Administration, Career Services, Research Centers, Graduate Classrooms, Graduate Student Study Areas, an Expansion of the AT&T Executive Education Conference Center, Banquet Space, Parking Garage
LEED Silver (pursuing)


Design Partner
Todd Schliemann
Management Partner
Kevin McClurkan
Project Designer
Alex O'Briant
Project Manager
Emily Kirkland
Design Team
Amina Blacksher, Margarita Calero, Edward Christian, Aleks Dawson, Hiroko Nakatani, Jörg Kiesow, Charmian Place, Tatsuya Sakairi, Melanie Weismiller, Joanna Williams, Ann Wright


Datum Engineers
Yaggi Engineering
Jose I. Guerra, Inc. Consulting Engineers
Coleman & Associates
Sextant Group
Datacom Design Group
Code/Life Safety
Hughes Associates, Inc.
Cost Estimating
Garza Program Management
Food Service
Worrell Design Group
Iros Elevator Design Services, Inc.
Pivotal Lighting Design
Barnett Consulting Group
Construction Manager
DPR Construction