Washington State University, Chinook Student Center

Pullman, Washington

  • FIRM



    Washington State University

  • AREA

    69,084 sq.ft.



Built in 1954 as a campus bookstore, “The Bookie” evolved from an assembly space into a cultural hub for generations of Washington State University (WSU) students. As WSU grew, so did the needs of the bookstore. Decades of piecemeal revisions left The Bookie with four different structural systems and five different floor plates in what now had become a 69,000-square-foot ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONFEATURED IN2018 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation box.
After the university relocated the bookstore, The Bookie was abandoned and was in danger of being demolished. In 2014, WSU students led the initiative to transform the vacant facility into a new student center and re-establish its importance with the student body.
The reuse of The Bookie presented a complex problem for the project team. To meet a goal of LEED Silver certification, reuse of the old structure was necessary to reduce the environmental impact of construction; however, the existing building geometry contained deep floor plates with low floor-to-floor heights and minimal penetrations for daylight. Additionally, the new program, which was developed through input sessions with WSU students and staff, proved to be diverse and complex. The new center would need to contain quiet study and meditation spaces, bordered by louder social meeting areas and a gymnasium.
A shared desire between the students and project team to create an inclusive environment required retooling the building to incorporate gender-neutral facilities and ablution spaces to accommodate the needs of WSU’s student population.