The Bernardon Haber Holloway design team was challenged to reposition an aging student center with a new energetic student lounge, a reconfigured lobby with a new information desk as well as transforming a windowless lower level into an inviting student community space with supporting student organization and staff offices.
The existing COST PER SQ FT$89.20FEATURED IN2014 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation circulation paths in the building were simplified to connect the building’s two monumental stairs with a sweeping corridor “promenade.” The area of the student lounge was opened to the exterior by means of new floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing this space to interact with the exterior activities. An existing skylight was re-opened above the monumental stairway allowing natural light to flood into the lower level.
Collaboration among the design team, staff and students created a fun space using environmentally friendly selections for flooring, walls, lighting and furniture. The addition of natural wood column enclosures, textured stone feature walls and decorative resin panels, along with vibrant colors, LED lighting and natural daylight produced an attractive atmosphere that appeals to both students and staff.
The tight construction schedule between the end of spring classes and the arrival of students for the fall semester required a phased construction schedule that allowed the center to remain in use over the summer months while HVAC systems were modified or replaced. New code requirements limited ceiling heights to accommodate larger duct sizes, which challenged the design team to use innovative methods to add visual interest to the low overhead areas.