McDonough School of Business Opens New 179,000 Square Foot Building

August 25, 2009

Transparent Architecture of $82.5 Million Rafik B. Hariri Building Puts Business on Display

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business this summer opened the doors to its new home—the Rafik B. Hariri Building—a 179,000 square foot structure that will house all of the school’s business education programs.

Major gifts from alumni funded the design and construction of the $82.5 million facility. The building is named in memory of the late Rafik B. Hariri, a two-time prime minister of Lebanon, noted philanthropist, and ardent advocate of education, through a gift by his son, Saad Hariri, the newly designated prime minister of Lebanon and a 1992 alumnus of the McDonough School of Business.

Located on the Georgetown University campus, the Rafik B. Hariri Building features 15 classrooms, 34 breakout rooms, 15 conference rooms, 11 interview rooms, a 400-seat auditorium, two large lounges, and 120 faculty offices. Student space is replete with data ports, flat-screen monitors, and videoconferencing capabilities, allowing for global connectivity.

The abundant aesthetics of the building include a blend of stone masonry and steel on the south elevation reminiscent of the university’s original architecture combined with a panoramic glass pavilion on the east elevation. Together these designs symbolize the mix of traditional business foundations and forethought apparent in the education offered at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. A soaring glass atrium serves as the core new building, providing literal transparency of students’ education—putting business on display.

“This building is both beautiful and functional. It provides great learning and teaching spaces for students and faculty and will allow us to connect better with external communities,” said George Daly, dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

Daly and his executive team worked closely with Boston-based architectural firm Goody Clancy and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company to create an environmentally friendly building, employing the use of an efficient lighting system expected to provide 15 percent in energy savings, water-efficient plumbing and landscaping, and recycled materials from local companies. The school plans to apply for LEED certification this fall.

“The fresh design of the Rafik B. Hariri Building is uniquely distinguishable from all other business school buildings,” said Rob Chandler, principal at Goody Clancy. “Subtle reminders such as the etched and carved road map of the capital city riddled throughout the architecture make it distinctly Washington, D.C. – distinctly Georgetown.”

Already, the Rafik B. Hariri Building has received acclaim among the construction industry, receiving several Craftsmanship Awards from the Washington Business Congress in the areas of slate and copper roofing, exterior stone masonry work, and glass fiber reinforced gypsum panels present in the building’s curved light coves, rotunda’s dome ceiling, and V-shaped panels in the auditorium ceiling.

“Whiting-Turner is honored to have worked with Georgetown University and a talented team of designers and contractors on this special project,” said K.C. Haile, vice president at Whiting-Turner. “We value our long-standing partnership with Georgetown and particularly enjoyed the team atmosphere that led to the successful completion of this complicated project. We are proud of the craftsmanship awards we have won and look forward to winning more for this beautiful new building.”

About Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is a premier business school in the nation’s capital. Founded in 1957 to educate undergraduate business students through the integration of liberal arts and professional education, the school annually welcomes some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 500 participants in its executive education programs. For more information about Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, visit