Education for Entrepreneurs

The ideal business education occurs in an environment that resembles professional life, which is exactly what Suffolk University got when it repurposed its former law library for the Sawyer School of Business.

By reconfiguring the fifth floor of Sargent Hall — former home of the law school library — for the graduate programs of the Sawyer Business School, NBBJ created new, state-of-the-art academic spaces that support contemporary pedagogies and business practices, which require the flexibility to move between collaborative projects and focused, heads-down work.

A central student lounge, group study rooms and informal social areas provide collaborative, flexible space within the dense faculty office environment. Glass partitions provide natural light and views to nearly all interior spaces — a challenge, given the large area originally designed for library stacks — while reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The project also reallocated space on adjacent floors to create an entrepreneurship center for the Law School and Sawyer Business School, which has established Sargent Hall as a dynamic, professional graduate center that promotes interaction across disciplines.

Spatial Organization

The program of the Sawyer Business School is translated into three spatial concepts, which reflect three basic modes of teaching and learning within the business school curriculum.

High-energy, collaborative teaching and conference spaces fill the center of the floor.


Touchdown spaces are scattered throughout the floor for scheduled or impromptu meetings.


Private offices are quiet, calm retreats that facilitate focused work.