Wesleyan University, Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center

Middletown, Connecticut

The Usdan University Center was intended to revitalize the core of Wesleyan’s Campus, to create an intellectual marketplace, and to provide student services for dining, cafe, meeting, post office, bookstore and student organizations. A ballroom/performance space, and dance and theater studios are common-use areas.

The urban design of the project created a new ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$436.78FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio from Wesleyan’s Andrus Field to the adjacent Center for the Arts.

The design involved the removal of a gymnasium, the reuse of a historic gym, a new structure to house the primary spaces, and a complex food-service infrastructure. The assembly of buildings integrates with the historic buildings of Wesleyan’s college row by form, scale and materials.

The University Center creates important common spaces for the campus, including an atrium cafe, large dining/study spaces and a ballroom in the space of the 19th-century gym, retaining its original timber trusses and wood ceiling. In Usdan, three levels of terraces overlook Andrus Field, the center of the campus.

The project, realized in brick, brown-stone, slate, terrazzo and oak, opened in 2007.