Sam Houston State University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building

Huntsville, Texas

  • FIRM

    WHR Architects


    Sam Houston State University

  • AREA

    148,000 sq.ft.





The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) Building is situated on a sloped site in the center of campus. It is adjacent to the newly created campus mall and houses a diverse group of students, faculty and administrative staff, including the dean of CHSS, the psychology, sociology and political science departments, general-use lecture halls, classrooms and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$203.00FEATURED IN2009 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYClassrooms university’s Student Advising and Mentoring Center.

Key goals for the university included adding new classroom space to promote innovative programming, provide distance learning and accommodate varied class sizes. The university wanted the building to have a strong and sensitive connection to the campus mall on the north and the wooded park on the east, while encouraging interaction among students and faculty.

The design provided larger student spaces placed on the building’s lower levels to ease student traffic. The naturally sloping site enabled a solution that placed large classrooms and lecture halls on different levels on the site with at-grade entries possible for each. Views to the campus mall and wooded park were featured by placing informal gathering spaces and a three-story lobby stair at key vantage points. Additionally, informal meeting spaces throughout the building give students and faculty places to interact along their natural travel path.