A series of focus groups and design charettes composed of students, faculty and staff resulted in the program for the Student Commons, a new focal point of campus life. Phase I includes the renovation of the existing dining facility, originally built in 1954 for a campus of about 850 students. As the campus population is quickly approaching 4,000 students, an COST PER SQ FT$56.25FEATURED IN2001 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress 4,100-square-foot kitchen/serving and dining area will be constructed.
The primary design challenge of Phase I of the Student Commons project is creating a plan for the renovation and building addition that could be built while the existing facility was being used. The other complication was to design the addition in such a way to avoid harming existing mature trees. The design team incorporated the use of glass and introduced a curvilinear space constructed—an indoor gazebo in effect—and an outdoor terrace. Accessibility from the existing dining areas to and from the future second phase of the student commons also was addressed.