When choosing a business school, one might take into consideration the quality of teaching, the range of courses available or the potential for employment after graduation. What may be less on the radar, however, is the building in which the business school is situated – but it’s definitely worth taking a second look. Many schools out there, both in the U.S. and abroad, are as aesthetically pleasing on the outside as they are innovative on the inside, and with their host of top-class facilities these attractive buildings may inspire students to work harder.
If you’d rather do your business degree from the beauty of your own home…
- Kaplan University – Online BS in Business Administration
- Capella University – Online Masters in Business Administration
- Walden University – Online Doctorate in Business Administration
Here is our list of the 50 most beautiful business schools from around the world.
50. Executive Learning Center, IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland
The International Institute for Management Development’s business school in Lausanne, Switzerland is frequently named as one of the best of its kind worldwide, so it’s only fitting that it has a top-tier building to match. Lausanne, Switzerland-based architects Richter · Dahl Rocha & Associés completed the Executive Learning Center in 2002, and the shiny glass facade was specially designed to both let in natural light and reflect the building’s surroundings. The structure was also elevated from the ground to keep the focus on the spectacular views around it, as the IMD’s campus is situated on Lake Geneva’s shores.
49. The Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, New York, USA
Syracuse alumnus Bruce Fowle’s New York and Washington D.C.-based FXFOWLE Architects was responsible for the university’s sleekly modernist business school, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, which was completed in 2005 at a cost of $39 million. Its minimalist style combines steel and brick, and within its 160,000 square feet it houses 22 classrooms, an auditorium with 200 seats, and a three-story grand hall. Its green credentials are pretty impressive, too: it features under-floor ventilation for greater air movement, while its roofing minimizes thermal gradient variation between different areas, and there are special sections for recycling. The structure was also built using materials featuring recycled content.
48. Imperial College Business School, London, U.K.
British architectural firm Foster + Partners was responsible for the stunning Tanaka Building at London’s Imperial College, which is home to the university’s business school. The company worked alongside engineers Buro Happold to create the £15.7 million ($25.2 million) structure, which features a glazed atrium containing group working spaces and half a dozen lecture theaters. The building was opened in June 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II. Eco-friendly elements were incorporated into the design, with the building boasting a foil cushion on its roof plus glass with low solar transmittance so as to lessen temperature increase in the atrium. Absorption cooling methods also play their part.
47. Lillis Business Complex, University of Oregon, USA
In 2005 the Lillis Business Complex at the University of Oregon was awarded LEED-NC Silver certification – placing it above all other business schools in the U.S. at the time – and it is one of the most environmentally aware buildings on any university campus in the nation. Its innovative eco-friendly touches include a special computer system that modifies electric lighting depending on the amount of natural daylight available, raised concrete floors to help provide natural ventilation, and a four-part photovoltaic system that includes skylights and solar panels on the roof. What’s more, this was all achieved without sacrificing the appealing aesthetics of the building’s 1920s-style architecture – the work of West Coast architects SRG Partnership. The complex was completed in 2003.
46. Novancia Business School, Paris, France
Novancia Business School’s 2011 extension is certainly eye-catching. The colorful façade brings a welcome shot of brightness to a part of Paris that looks decidedly drabber by comparison. The local branch of AS.Architecture Studio was responsible for the flame-colored glass structure, which uses printed vertical shutters to let in or keep out sunlight and which changes its shades depending on the arrangement of sun-breakers, the angles of the shutters and the amount of daylight available. Despite the school’s brilliant, modern-looking appearance, AS.Architecture Studio actually intended to complement the yellow tones of the original 1908 building it accompanies, while the red elements echo the color of the city’s Musée Bourdelle.
45. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, USA
The Ross School of Business building may look slick and futuristic, but it actually incorporates more traditional, natural materials such as stone, slate and terracotta. These features create a stunning contrast with the glass and steel portions of the structure, which was finished in 2008. International architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates also introduced a bit of greenery into the mix in the form of grass-covered roofs and – although it may not actually contain much foliage – an open central community space called the Davidson Winter Garden. The building’s official website describes the Winter Garden as “the figurative and literal center of our learning community.”
44. University of Western Australia Business School, Perth, Australia
Global architectural company Woods Bagot gave the more conventional design elements of the University of Western Australia’s Perth campus a shinier modern twist when designing the college’s new Business School building. The structure was completed in 2009 and incorporates materials such as aluminum, copper, steel, terracotta and sandstone. Its eco-friendly considerations also mean the building is bang up to date, as the structure is positioned in order to best facilitate the utilization of natural heating, cooling and lighting. Woods Bagot also brought into play an intelligent system for daylight compensation purposes.
43. Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, New York, USA
We’re pretty sure that we’d have enjoyed school a lot more if it meant attending classes in a stunning building like the one in which Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management is located. Sage Hall, where the school resides, was designed by Cornell’s prestigious, and first, architecture professor Charles Babcock and was built in 1875 in the High Victorian Gothic style – which is marked by its multicolored decorations and use of differing textures. Still, one feature has changed throughout the decades, as the previously removed top part of the spire was reconstructed in the late 1990s to complete the eye-catching $38 million restoration that can be seen today.
42. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
MIT professor Paul Asquith, who was on the building committee for the college’s Sloan School of Management, explained this next project thus: “We told the architects that we care a lot more what people will think of the building when they leave at the end of the day than when they arrive in the morning.” However, when the finished building opened in 2010, it still looked pretty appealing from the outside, morning, noon or night. Designed by California architects Moore Ruble Yudell, it has features that echo the buildings in the vicinity – be it the green-hued glass of a local office tower, or the warmer limestone that makes up the original structures of the MIT campus.
41. Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, U.K.
The Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Cambridge’s Anglia Ruskin University doesn’t just look good, with its stylish geometric shapes and bold brown and red color scheme; it does good too. That’s because the electricity generated by the building is fed back into the British National Grid to help the community with its own energy needs. The cutting-edge facility has its own solar panels and power plant, which enable it to produce as much as 18 percent of the energy required to keep the building running. It was completed in 2011.
40. Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University, Texas, USA
New York City-based architect Robert A. M. Stern’s approach to the design of Rice University’s McNair Hall, which houses the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, was firmly in line with his “modern traditionalist” ethos. The result, which was completed in 2002, meets the college’s brief of developing something that is thoroughly innovative and beautiful but that wouldn’t look out of place among the rest of its architecture. The building nods to tradition in its use of Rice’s distinctive St. Joe brick and its details that echo the campus’ 100-year-old Lovett Hall, but it also stands out on its own as a highly attractive piece of design.
39. Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, USA
New York’s Robert A. M. Stern Architects was responsible for the pretty, picturesque buildings in the grounds of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The project was completed in 1996, and the buildings hark back to the original design of the college, as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson. With its use of Virginia red brick, limestone, white wood and red metal roofs, the architecture is sympathetic to the former president’s original designs. And as a sort of tribute to Jefferson’s Academical Village, the structures stand alone but are also connected, for ease as well as to foster a feeling of togetherness.
38. Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Moscow, Russia
Global architectural firm Adjaye Associates paid tribute to Russia’s rich cultural history with its striking design for the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO building, which was completed in 2010. Principal architect David Adjaye took inspiration from the work of painter Kazimir Malevich, who was a pioneer in the field of geometric abstract art. Inspiration was also drawn from Russian Revolution motifs and the theory of constructivism, which originated in Russia in the early 20th century. The result is a bold landmark that stands out thanks to its huge mosaic-covered blocks and its variegated parallelograms.
37. Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, Elon University, North Carolina, USA
The Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center in which Elon University’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business is located may look like a grand old building, but it was actually completed in 2006. The impressive design is the brainchild of Pennsylvania’s Spillman Farmer Architects. Aesthetically, the building’s majestic exterior takes its cues from the antique Federal-style architecture of other structures on campus. Yet inside the facility is considerably more up-to-date looking, with an imitation stock trading room that brings in news and data from financial markets worldwide and a 240-seat theater that incorporates multimedia and videoconferencing equipment.
36. Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Manchester, U.K.
The Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios-designed Manchester Metropolitan University Business School seems to rise from the ground like a giant, reflective glass prism. The attractive structure, which was completed in 2012, cost an amazing $87.6 million. Outlay aside, the U.K.-based architectural company behind the project has been rewarded with a host of accolades, including the development being shortlisted as “Project of the Year” at the 2012 Building Awards. The structure was also named as one of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ National Award winners in 2013.
35. Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA
The shining silver shapes that curve and undulate around the Weatherhead School of Management’s Peter B. Lewis Building are the telltale signs of celebrated architect Frank Gehry. Canadian-born, LA-based Gehry was dubbed “the most important architect of our age” by Vanity Fair magazine. And the structure, which was completed in 2002, brings to mind the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, another iconic Gehry creation. In contrast, the building’s interior is cleaner and more minimal than the imposing exterior, and it features some small, intimate spaces that encourage students to work together and even get to know each other.
34. Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
The academic buildings at the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, like that pictured above, are all made up of striking red bricks in a grand architectural style known as “medieval Indian.” The public business school, which was designed by New Delhi-based C.P. Kukreja Associates, was set up in 1984, and it is one of 13 such institutes around India. However, as the architects have noted, this particular institution was chosen as “the best designed IIM in planning and infrastructure.”
33. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology College of Business, Melbourne, Australia
The Swanston Academic Building, which is host to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s College of Business, was completed in 2012. Local architects Lyons took a creative approach to designing the structure’s unusual façade: they looked at a pixilated representation of buildings neighboring the site and used it for inspiration. This led to the striking multihued surfaces and exciting textures seen above. According to Lyons, “The building derives its identity from its surroundings. It’s a chameleon and a mirror.” Lyons added that the jagged appearance of the structure is an upshot of it “being ‘affected and influenced’ physically by its surrounds.”
32. Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Massachusetts, USA
Fulton Hall is home to Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Its construction was originally completed in the late 1940s, but it seemed rather small and plain compared to its more flamboyant neighbors. Hence, in 1993, the building was given a makeover by New Haven’s Svigals + Partners. Multicolored masonry was used to give the structure a look in keeping with its surroundings, and the effect is rather fetching. The school also boasts advanced audiovisual and computer equipment in its classrooms, three I.T. labs, a snack bar, and a refurbished lounge for grad students.
31. Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle, U.K.
This sleek, steel and glass edifice was opened in March 2012 and is the home of Newcastle University Business School. Designed by U.K.-based firm Ian Simpson Architects, the structure is part of Downing Plaza, a six-building development that cost a staggering $322 million. Completion of the project is reportedly scheduled for August 2014. When it is done, it will feature a four-star hotel, offices, apartments, retail areas and a student village, all conceived by Ian Simpson Architects and using similar materials to the school’s.
30. UGSM-Monarch Business School, Aargau, Switzerland
The UGSM-Monarch Business School describes its residence at Schloss Muhlenhof in the village of Wohlen, Switzerland as “very beautiful.” And judging from its exterior, we think the assessment is fair. The grand building dates back to 1859, when it was constructed by a grain merchant, although it has been revamped since then to bring it up to date and meet the needs of a 21st-century business school. Furthermore, although it looks too pretty for students ever to want to leave, those looking to make a quick getaway can take advantage of the building’s close proximity to the local rail station.
29. Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College, California, USA
When the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business got too big for its original space, Mills College turned to nationwide architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to create a brand new building. The result was a 28,000-square-foot structure that is as sustainable as it is attractive. Recycled rainwater gathered from its roofs has decreased it water usage by as much as 80 percent, while energy use has also gone down significantly as a result of the radiant floor heating, insulated windows and solar-shading mechanisms. The building was opened in 2009, and thanks to the aforementioned measures it has achieved a LEED-NC v.2.2 Gold certification.
28. University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand
International firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp teamed up with New Zealand architects Archimedia to create this space age-looking building for the University of Auckland’s Business School. Its design is said to be a nod to the country’s Maori traditions, yet it also positions the complex within a global context. The interior of the state-of-the-art Owen G. Glenn Building features seminar and teaching spaces, which rub shoulders with computer labs as well as other work and social spaces. Completed in 2007, the building has received some international acclaim, and it was shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival Awards in 2008.
27. Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada
Ornate Goodes Hall, which houses Queen’s University’s School of Business, has been pivotal in shaping and improving young minds for over a century. The building, which was originally constructed in 1892, enjoyed a previous life as Victoria School, an elementary school for the local community. Queen’s then bought the property in the 1990s, renamed it Goodes Hall, and has used it for its business school since 1999. Many original features remain – such as the building’s tin ceilings and stunning maple staircase – and the elementary school classrooms are still used as teaching spaces today.
26. Chapman Graduate School of Business, Florida International University, Florida, USA
The innovative Chapman Graduate School of Business buildings were designed to feature two courtyards that interconnect, encouraging the mingling of faculty, students and administration. Even so, each area remains distinct and retains the independence of its own particular scholastic schedule. The concrete panels used on the exterior of the buildings were sandblasted to produce appealing markings and texture, and the courtyards incorporate brightly colored stucco. This nod to pre-Columbian art is a tribute to the student body, which is mainly made up of Latin and Hispanic individuals. Global architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox was responsible for the school’s radical look, the first phase of which was completed in 2008.
25. Schulich School of Business, York University, Ontario, Canada
York University’s Schulich School of Business scooped the prestigious Governor General’s Medal in Architecture back in 2006, with the award’s jury calling it “a combination of grandness and sophistication that is appropriate for a school of business.” The sleek, glass-fronted complex, which opened in 2003, was a product of the imagination of Canadian architect Siamak Hariri and Toronto-based Robbie Young + Wright/IBI Group Architects. It also gained praise for its meticulously built glass, wood and concrete interior as well as for its spacious floral areas and terraces.
24. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, USA
The University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, is notable for being the final building designed by the AIA Gold Medal-winning Santa Monica architect Charles Moore, in conjunction with Oakland firm VBN. However, Moore sadly passed away before its completion in 1995. The school is a “mini campus” all by itself, with three distinct wings, all of which incorporate elements that touch on other buildings on campus or other architectural styles. For example, the exterior’s horizontal form-boards in the middle and the mock board-and-batten sidings above them pay a sort of tribute to the university’s historic Girton Hall, which was built in 1911.
23. Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
In 2009 the American University of Beirut received a stunning new building for its Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, courtesy of Massachusetts architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates. The pre-cast masonry used for its façade is intended to mirror the local limestone found in buildings across the rest of the campus, and the openings in the exterior echo the wooden latticework of the region’s mashrabiya windows. These apertures are smaller on the lower floors to provide shade but are bigger higher up the building. This design allows staff members to get beautiful glimpses of the Mediterranean from their offices.
22. Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada
In 2012 Vancouver’s Acton Ostry Architects were responsible for the eye-catching makeover and expansion of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. The colorful panels across the windows aren’t just there to look good, but also serve to represent that retail business essential – the barcode. Elsewhere, the environments in the building’s lecture theatres are maintained in quite an innovative way: their humidification and heating technology draws on excess steam from the heating plant on campus.
21. Bangor Business School, University of Bangor, U.K.
In the mid-19th century, London’s James Barnett constructed the grand residence in which the University of Bangor’s Business School resides. Hen Goleg was originally created to house the Welsh city’s Normal College. It was built in the Jacobethan style, which incorporates a mix of 16th- and 17th-century architectural elements. What’s more, the building retains its original features today: there are stone chimneys, gargoyles on the middle tower, and an 1862 weathervane. In 1980 the building was given Grade II-listed status.
20. Henry B. Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, USA
The Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa is housed within the 187,000-square-foot Pappajohn Business Building, which is a distinctly modern take on the architecture of the Pentacrest structures elsewhere on campus. The grand looking building, which is home to 27 classrooms and an IT center, is made of aggregate stone and was completed in 1994. There are playful nods to the building’s function in its style, which brings to mind the New York Stock Exchange building and features a “money-green” paint scheme. It was designed by Architectural Resources from Cambridge, Massachusetts and Neumann Monson Architects of Iowa City.
19. Rutgers Business School, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
Rutgers University’s impressive business school is so new that its students have barely had time to crack the spines on their textbooks. Prestigious Mexican architect Enrique Norten designed the six-story building, which was unveiled for the fall 2013 semester at the university’s Livingston Campus. The pointed, toothpick-like columns pictured prop up an eye-catching walkway that links together two of the school’s glass-fronted towers. Rutgers Business School itself is host to technology amounting to almost $4 million, most of which can be found inside the various teaching rooms.
18. Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific, California, USA
Weber Hall has stood in the grounds of the University of the Pacific for nearly 90 years – almost as long as the college has been present in Stockton, California. However, it has only been home to the business school since 1982; before that, it was where the Pharmacy School could be found, and earlier still it was the Science building. The building’s name is a tribute to Captain Charles M. Weber, the city of Stockton’s founder. In 1994 the school became the Eberhardt School of Business, in honor of Robert Eberhardt, President of the Bank of Stockton and Chairman of the university’s Board of Regents.
17. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, U.K.
It’s the distinctive green ziggurat-esque tower that acts as the instantly recognizable centerpiece of the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Finished in 2001, the building was the vision of London architects Dixon Jones – the firm also behind the makeover of the English capital’s famous Royal Opera House and National Gallery. In February 2013 a new west wing was added to the Saïd Business School. Dixon Jones was also responsible for this extension, which one critic described as “a distinctive new oasis for young thrusters.” What’s more, the new addition won a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects award in June 2013.
16. Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin, USA
In 1993 The University of Wisconsin received an eye-catching new addition when its Grainger Hall building was completed. The structure was designed for the college’s school of business by Milwaukee’s Zimmerman Design Group, and the Architect’s Collaborative from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its shell is comprised of three types of brick and stone, while red tiles cover the majority of the roofs, and a large stained glass window features in the library. Some of the school’s design elements nod to other campus buildings – for example, its curved sections mirror the red gym’s towers – and even the grand Wisconsin State Capitol.
15. Reed Business School, Gloucestershire, U.K.
The oldest sections of the manor house in which Reed Business School is situated date back to the 1400s. The gorgeous Jacobean manor was once associated with a priory, and the building is steeped in history. After King Henry VIII dissolved the English monasteries in 1539, the manor was given to Sir Thomas Pope – who also established the University of Oxford’s Trinity College. Today, the dining room is the oldest part of the house, and in fact it is thought to have been the grange of the monks who lived in the area many centuries ago. The building has changed hands many times over the years but now has all the facilities necessary for 21st-century business students.
14. UC Davis Graduate School of Management, California, USA
Boston-based architects Sasaki Associates were responsible for the new headquarters of UC Davis’ Graduate School of Management, which was completed in 2009 at a cost of $33.5 million. Named Gallagher Hall, the handsome glass-and-tile-fronted building boasts an array of high-tech classrooms, while a new conference center was also constructed next door. The project has been heralded for its commitment to conserving resources; in fact, the business school became California’s first to be awarded a LEED Platinum certification. It was built to be energy-efficient and features a solar array on its roof that generates a significant proportion of the power needed by the complex.
13. School of Business and Economics, The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., USA
The stately McMahon Hall, home to the School of Business and Economics, is one of the oldest buildings on the campus of the Catholic University of America. Its existence is down to one man, the Archdiocese of New York’s Reverend Monsignor James McMahon, who donated some of his considerable fortune to the college with the proviso that he could live out the rest of his days on the university site. McMahon was granted his request, and McMahon Hall of Philosophy and Letters was built before being given a dedication in 1895.
12. Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University, California, USA
Pepperdine University in Malibu, California is seen by many as having one of the most beautiful campuses in the U.S., and upon seeing the Graziadio School of Business and Management, established in 1969, it’s hard to disagree. Like other buildings at Pepperdine – the majority of which were designed by the renowned Los-Angeles-based firm William L. Pereira and Associates – its architecture is sleek and Mediterranean in style, with white stucco walls and a red tile roof. The school is also set into hills looking over the Pacific Ocean, which means that students may be able to enjoy just as inviting views from inside the building as from outside.
11. Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, U.K.
Judge Business School at the prestigious University of Cambridge looks pretty inviting from the outside, but the inside is just as spectacular, with walkways and stairwells painted in a riot of primary colors. Judge Business School was originally the site of the magnificent Addenbrooke’s Old Hospital, which was extended and reconstructed in the 1860s by British architect Matthew Digby Wyatt. More recently, the building was enlarged and rearranged again, this time by London’s John Outram Associates, and it opened its doors in 1996. The fresh new look saw the school win a David Urwin Award for the best building of the decade.
10. E. J. Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University, USA
In 2012 Louisiana State University cut the ribbon on its attractive new E. J. Ourso School of Business, which is located in the Business Education Complex. New Jersey’s ikon.5 architectural firm was responsible for the sleek design – which combines mirror glass-covered pavilions together with an attractive rotunda sporting a bronze solar screen. Such features are said to pay tribute to the historic campus. As well as housing classrooms and an auditorium with 300 seats, the complex also features an imitation trading room – perfect for those wanting to get in some practice before getting involved with the real thing.
9. Ashridge Business School, Hertfordshire, U.K.
Ashridge Business School’s Ashridge House is a truly awe-inspiring piece of architecture. The neo-Gothic structure was built as a home for the 7th Earl of Bridgewater by noted English architect James Wyatt. Sadly, Wyatt passed away before it was completed, so it was down to Jeffry Wyatt, his nephew, to finish the project for him. Completed in 1814, the building is comprised of finely dressed ashlar masonry and Totternhoe Stone, with slate roofs and a castellated, battlement-like parapet. The finished article should impress even the pickiest of business students.
8. UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of California Los Angeles, USA
According to UCLA, their Anderson School of Management was “designed to be a campus within a campus,” and it’s a very handsome one at that. New York-based architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners designed the six buildings into which the Anderson School of Management moved in 1995; and with its attractive red mosaic tiles, the Marion Anderson Courtyard is the focal point for four of them. The structures themselves are made from red and lighter-toned masonry, and the striped patterns are similar to those seen at the campus’ Royce Hall.
7. Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, USA
In 2005 Pennsylvania State University’s facility for the Smeal College of Business was unveiled. The building was designed by New York-based Robert A. M. Stern Architects, and at 210,000 square feet it became one of the biggest academic structures on the university’s main site. The building is mainly constructed from red brick with touches of gold limestone, which is complemented by the walls of glass and metal encasing the atrium and main lobby. Housed within the facility are a lecture theater, undergraduate and graduate common rooms, teaching laboratories, and offices for the staff.
6. London Business College, London, U.K.
London Business School’s palatial residence has views over the English capital’s Regent’s Park, and it is a stunning example of 19th-century architecture. Initially, the building was a row of terraced houses constructed in the 1820s and designed by famed British architect John Nash – who also worked on an expansion of Buckingham Palace. Some of its most distinctive features are tall, white Corinthian pillars, and pointed cupolas, ten of which adorn the top of the structure. It is perhaps no surprise that the iconic building has been deemed of particular historical and architectural interest by the British government. And it’s not just a pretty face, either: admittance is extremely competitive, and the institution is one of the world’s highest-ranking business schools.
5. Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, Netherlands
Nyenrode Business University must be the only business school on this list to have a 13th-century castle – complete with moat – in its grounds. That has to be a little impressive, to say the least. What’s more, this is just one aspect of the 124-acre estate that plays host to the private university; it also features a deer park, a rose garden, a restored coach house and a maze. With all that to explore, we’re not sure we’d ever get down to opening our books, but it does seem a lovely place in which to study.
4. University at Albany School of Business, New York, USA
The New York branch of Perkins+Will was responsible for University at Albany’s brand new School of Business building, which opened in August 2013. It is surrounded by an entrance court boasting fountains and green areas, which provides an attractive space where students can meet or relax. Meanwhile, those who want to get right down to business can take advantage of the Bloomberg terminals in the simulated trading room. The building isn’t just pretty, either; it’s pretty sustainable, too. It was built to let in plenty of natural light so as to decrease the amount of electricity needed, while triple-glazed glass and a special ventilation system cut down on the energy used.
3. Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Boston, USA
It’s only fitting that a business school that is frequently listed as the number one in the U.S., and indeed the world, should boast a suitably splendid building. Baker Library, which received its dedication in 1927, is surely among the prettiest sights at Harvard Business School, and it stands as what has been called the campus’ “architectural and intellectual centerpiece.” Its stunning design, complete with a columned frontage and an impressive bell tower, was the work of renowned U.S. architectural company McKim, Mead & White. And although the building was extended and renewed in the early 21st century, it has still managed to retain its period charm.
2. LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, Pennsylvania, USA
Gerri C. LeBow Hall, the new home for the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University, is a vision in glass and warm masonry. Its design came courtesy of New York’s Robert A. M. Stern Architects and Philadelphia-based Voith & Mactavish Architects, who worked together to produce a building that acts as a landmark for the College of Business. Inside the school, which opened in September 2013, are a number of different-sized classrooms, an auditorium with 300 seats, a lecture hall that can accommodate 100 people, and the Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps to provide support to new businesses. The building also reaches global sustainability criteria and even has a green roof.
1. Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business, La Sierra University, California, USA
La Sierra University’s brand new Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business brings a little bit of the outdoors indoors with one memorable feature. Real palm trees, which have been freeze-dried to keep them preserved, are situated in the atrium and reach right up to the second level. The stunning building was conceived by Thomas Riggle, the president of Riverside, California’s TR Design Group, and it has been heralded for Outstanding Design by the 2013 American School & University Architectural Portfolio. The new headquarters of the School of Business was opened in late September 2013.