260,000 GSF, 24,155 M2
Architecture, Interior Architecture, Lighting Design
Award of Excellence, Award of Excellence, Illumination Award of Merit
Student life is essential to a vibrant, growing home for higher education. When this urban university began to transform itself from a commuter campus to a full-fledged university with a resident population, it saw a new, 260,000-square-foot campus center as a lynchpin of success.
SmithGroupJJR conceived the facility as a community-driven centerpiece with an “extroverted” identity. Set amid quieter campus buildings, this glass-wrapped, sculptural form adds civic prominence with a tall, modern clock tower and a soaring, cantilevered roof plane. The design celebrates student unity and diversity, community and individual, with outdoor festivals by day and a warm glow of activity by night.
The result is an anchor and iconic image seen on posters and T-shirts – a 21st-century focus for this 30,000-student campus. Inside, students find a 250-seat theater, art gallery, music rooms, meeting spaces, offices, the campus store and a food court. A new emphasis on undergraduate programs, student housing and a stronger sense of academic community also contribute to this hub of urbanism – and the active campus sought by the visionary university leaders.