David Student Union, a 120,000-square foot facility, is a key element in the fulfillment of Christopher Newport University’s master plan. To help fulfill the university president’s desire for a symmetrical tidewater aesthetic and a modern, asymmetrical student center program, the new student union is conceptualized as two separate buildings connected by an CAPACITY3,182COST PER SQ FT$278.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio “street.” A three-story atrium continues a campus walkway that ends at the campus Great Lawn.
The bookstore occupies one side of the street on the first floor, and a food court with the atmosphere of cafe dining occupies the other. A grand stair, a focal place for the student union, leads to the reception area for the 7,500-square foot, double-height ballroom and 3,600 square feet of meeting rooms on the second floor. The second floor has bridges across the street with student study spaces, e-mail kiosks and personal mailboxes. The third floor provides meeting rooms and offices for student clubs and organizations. Barrel-vaulted skylights flood the street and adjoining interior spaces with natural light.