Nova Southeastern’s University Center is a 344,600-square-foot “fusion” facility that combines student, faculty and public activity, serves to expand the university’s undergraduate programs and population, and provides athletic facilities to accommodate its Division II programs. Project components include a student union, recreation center, intercollegiate athletics, CAPACITY5,400COST PER SQ FT$200.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio arena, casual dining, and performing and visual arts.
The center ties the academic and residential quadrants together, fostering a sense of community. Architectural design draws on the existing campus character while expressing the active nature of the facility.
Project challenges involved incorporating multiple programmatic functions into one cohesive facility to meet user needs, which are expressed in the building’s mass with high activity spaces visible day and night. Displaying the world’s largest aquatic mural, a three-story, skylighted galleria space is the most prominent architectural feature and the facility’s primary organizing element. Three levels of dedicated facilities include fitness, racquetball, a gymnasium, climbing wall, multipurpose rooms and lockers.
The multipurpose arena has 5,400 seats to accommodate athletic events, concerts and commencements. A performing-arts wing includes a black-box theater, dance theater and academic facilities. Activity spaces along the galleria/spine include food service, offices and a “flight deck” lounge.