Bay Path College, Blake Student Commons

Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Bay Path College needed to make both functional and aesthetic improvements to the existing student center that would encourage its continued use by students and make it the campus focal point.

Program requirements included student offices and workspace, gathering areas for socializing, student lounge space, study space and a small multimedia theater. The program also ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$145.90CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYStudent Centers/Service Areas renovations to the dining hall and serving area, and expansion of existing uses, such as the bookstore, student mail area and snack bar.

A new addition joined the existing student center with the existing fitness center, creating one larger facility designed around student needs. The addition contains a large, two-story atrium space, which provides a sense of place that is essential to the design solution. The atrium functions as the heart of the student commons, containing the main entry, information area and multiple seating areas, which allows direct access to other uses, such as the dining hall, bookstore, small cafe and game room.

The scale of the space and selection of the finish materials, which include maple woodwork and terrazzo tile floors, have created a unique and dramatic space that reinforces its identity as the center of the campus.

"Beautiful use of wood and stone. A ‘people space:’ comfortable, functional, elegant.”--2001 jury