James Madison University, College Center

Harrisonburg, Virginia

  • FIRM



    James Madison University

  • AREA

    45,000 sq.ft.





This student center is the signature building—the centerpiece—of a new university campus. Sited along a ridge at the eastern end of the campus, the College Center serves as a symbolic and visual focal point for the academic spine to the north and the residence halls arrayed across the slope to the south.

The center’s west-facing facade of curved glass curtainwall ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$128.89CITATIONPost-Secondary CitationFEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At night, the cylindrical drum is a beacon, drawing people toward it and into the heart of the college’s activities. The facility provides a deliberate mix of food service, dining, retail and support services. A curving, grand staircase leads to the second-floor food servery, dining and lounge areas. On the first level are the bookstore, convenience store, and additional seating and interaction areas. In numerous locations, students can plug in their laptops.

To facilitate public funding of the building, the university is constructing it in phases. Phase I, now complete, serves the student body. Phase II will create additional student-activities areas and support services.

"The curved glass curtainwall and spiral staircase are terrific! This is a community-friendly building."—2000 Architectural Portfolio Jury

Photographer: ©Maxwell Mackenzie