Austin College, Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center

Sherman, Texas

The Wright Campus Center on the 1,200-student Austin College campus provides for student activities, services, faculty interaction and broader community relationships. The facility includes two food venues, a banquet hall, game room, bookstore, reception/art gallery, the “Leadership Institute” lecture hall and offices, and classrooms.

Because the building was ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$132.67CITATIONBronze CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYStudent Centers/Service Areas at the geographical heart of the campus, entrances are on all sides. The west community entry, with its porte-cochere and two-story lobby, features an interior brise-soleil, modifying the west sun. A tiered/vaulted ceiling with skylights balances the natural light while lifting the user’s sight to the reception/gallery above. Materials include 16-foot by 24-foot charcoal porcelain tile pavers, clear-sealed maple paneling, a cantilevered stair, and brick and cast stone walls that extend from the exterior. Fabric-wrapped acoustical panels ring the upper perimeter.

The focus of the building is the living room, a centrally positioned lounge promoting spontaneous interaction. Its two-story, skylighted volume includes a maple floor, clear-sealed maple paneling, cast-stone detailing and a slate-wrapped fireplace. Window openings at the upper and lower levels allow contact with adjacent circulation zones. An intimate seating area behind the two-sided fireplace provides for choices in social engagement.

"Soft, comfortable and inviting. Effective stairstep ceiling and lighting. `Timeless` design."--2001 jury