Springfield College’s Richard B. Flynn Campus Union has transformed the way students access services and activities, using formal and informal gathering spaces to reinforce the college’s mission to enhance each student’s "mind, body and spirit" through social interaction and participation in campus life. The union brings COST PER SQ FT$334.00FEATURED IN2010 Architectural Portfolio offices for student activities and groups, the dean of students, residence life, career services, campus ministries, student volunteer programs, 3,000 student mailboxes, a food court, convenience store, bookstore with coffee shop, and a multipurpose function hall subdividable into five seminar rooms. The union’s success can be seen in how these spaces flow and are connected on multiple levels by lobbies and lounges of varying scale.
The design takes advantage of its prominent site between Alden Street, the main campus and a city thoroughfare, and Lake Massasoit by defining three distinct external spaces with five exterior "functions" linked to corresponding internal building functions.
The union’s primary facade reinforces the campus’ historic quadrangle, and the entrance tower balances the historic Judd Hall tower, forming a gateway sculpture court to the quadrangle. A new covered arcade and offices define the Alden Street facade, and—in contrast to the traditional facades of rusticated brick and stone designed to reflect the historic Victorian campus character—the rear of the building is rendered in steel and glass, opening the dining and ballroom spaces to dramatic views of the lake. A terraced court overlooks the lake and serves as an outdoor eating and gathering space with a sundial and granite stadium seating.