University of the District of Columbia, Student Center
Washington, District of Columbia
Hampton & Associates (Civil Engineer); Setty and Associates (MEP); Lee and Associates (Landscape Architect)
The University of the District of Columbia (UDC), Washington’s only public higher education institution, has catered chiefly to commuting students since its founding in 1977. Set back from the street and featuring brutalist architecture, the campus was ASSOCIATED FIRMMarshall MoyaCITATIONPost-Secondary CitationFEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio and easy to miss. UDC’s new student center changes that by creating a gateway and public face for the university, and a new source of pride for more than 5,000 students.
The design goal for the student center was to create a building that serves as a figural place-maker to identify the university and adheres to the university’s high standards for sustainability. A clock tower marks a new urban square teeming with students, and a robust streetscape and landscape design strategy creates a strong connection between the campus and the community.
Inside, areas for campus life, student government, and career services, in addition to retail space, a conference center, ballroom, and a fitness center, encourage students to engage with the university outside of the classroom. The building is on track to receive LEED Platinum certification.