The Student Union is the focal point of a university. It is a hub of activity, the place for learning, dining, working out – or just hanging out. It represents the culture of a school, showcases its personality, and reflects its history. At WTW, we’ve become the architect of choice for a wide range of student unions across the country because we collaborate closely with school administrators, donors, and faculty to identify their vision of the building. We assess the needs and wishes of students. And we immerse ourselves in the university’s history, as well as its future, to create designs that are unexpected, unique, and stand the test of time.
The Student Union Redefined.
The project vision for Towson University was to transform its outdated 1970s student union into a ‘next generation’ Student Life Center while maintaining ongoing operations.
Phasing was one of the keys to the success of this project. The first phase of expansion was designed to provide flexible new dining and meeting spaces that would come online well before the existing operations were shut down for extensive renovations in phase two.
Improving visual connectivity, transparency, daylighting, and discernible wayfinding were all key objectives to the success of this 104,000 sf renovation and addition of the Nebraska East Union. The most dramatic new feature is the redesigned central atrium, an organizing element that revitalizes the sense of community in the building.
The campus has been transformed by an addition and renovation which was designed to complement the classic architecture. The new spaces intuitively create a sense of community and enhance student life.
Thirty years after WTW’s original design, CalU re-engaged WTW to transform and expand the center with extensive renovations and strategic additions creating a 135,000-sf center. Located at the hub of housing and academic districts, Natali is a vital campus crossroads.
Approximately 10,000 sf of the Union was designated for this project. WTW Architects was selected to plan and design the new facility.
The University of Houston’s vision was to transform its outdated 1960’s University Center into a ‘next generation’ student life center without disrupting key on-going operations.
Nearly doubling the size of the existing student union, this project transforms a complex series of smaller additions into a cohesive center of student life. The addition unifies the building as it completes the south edge of the majestic central campus quadrangle.
This transformation of a mid-century concrete building into a vital and robust center of student engagement is a testimony to the innovative vision of the university and the design team of Neumann Smith/WTW Architects.
A new curvilinear “main street” connects new and renovated areas of the building, showcasing student activities. Food and entertainment are featured throughout including live performances from the stage.
163,459 SF Renovation
As the heart of campus life at Western State, the University Center is warm and welcoming during frigid Rocky Mountain winters and provides engaging outdoor spaces for year-round use.
Designed to complement the historic campus Spanish Mission style, this new center of student life serves as a gateway to the campus and a landmark building for the university. The signature rotunda entrance and open stairway gracefully connect the main entrance to campus.
Located at the crossroads of three major campus axes and the main campus entrance, the Crowley serves as a welcome center for visitors and the hub of student life.
This multi-story Campus Center, nestled between existing campus structures, projects an open and inviting image to students and focuses on student activity in the urban context. Organized around a dramatic two-story entry lobby, this unique facility combines dynamic student life components with an exciting recreational/fitness/wellness center.
New & Renovation
Strategically located at the intersection between the academic quad and student housing, the Student Center is a dynamic crossroads on campus that is the hub of student life. The Center provides an oasis for the large commuter population while incorporating features to support resident students as well.
College Station, TX
The Kent Campus Center provides flexibility and versatility to accommodate a variety of student / alumni / community sponsored events. A central atrium creates a new center of student life that links the various campus neighborhoods together.
A total renovation and doubling of the size of the University Center has reshaped the vision of student life on the campus. The new 575-seat Dining Commons with an outdoor dining terrace provides expansive views to the main campus quadrangle.
Renovation / New Construction
The 1960’s Memorial Center was totally renovated and nearly doubled in size to enhance both its Student Center and Recreation Center components. A new main entrance addition and atrium provides a single point of orientation for both the Student Center and the Rec Center. The work was phased and construction accelerated to allow maximum utilization of existing program spaces during construction.
100,000 SF New /
70,000 SF Renovation
The purpose, design, and location of this exciting new building was to provide a facility to meet the needs of today’s students and the entire University community, while providing a signature building on campus. WTW and Miami-based Arquitectonica were commissioned for the design of the new 75,000-square-foot Student Activity Center.
Coral Gables, FL
George Mason’s three existing interrelated student life centers underwent a total transformation. SUB II was renovated and expanded to create the new home for student on-campus activities, student media, clubs & organizations, and other student related programs.
92,000 SF Renovation
As part of a total transformation of three existing interrelated student life centers, SUB I was renovated and expanded into a new Student Services Center including a “One Stop Shop” for students to interface with the myriad of administrative functions related to their education.
Strategically located to connect the two major pedestrian arteries in the historic heart of the Austin campus, the Student Activity Center at the University of Texas is the vibrant new crossroads of campus life.
The new facility was designed with two goals in mind: to reflect the early 20th-century style of the existing historic student union and commons building, and to transform the facility to enhance the contemporary student experience.
20,000 SF New /
40,000 SF Renovation
Strategically located at the new south campus precinct and integrally connected to the beautiful and historic campus green, the Student Center is both an iconic gateway to campus and the heart of student life.
A WTW preliminary feasibility study concluded that UCONN’s campus badly needed a “College Towne” center. The 50 year old student union underwent extensive renovations and a major addition to create the envisioned student centered “College Towne.”
100,000 SF New /
100,000 SF Renovation
This major renovation and expansion was based on WTW’s long-range master plan for the facility. Sensitive renovation and additions to the historic mid-twentieth century modern structure, while creating a dynamic contemporary center of student life, were the driving concepts for the design.
Baton Rouge, LA
50,000 SF New /
150,000 SF Renovation
Sensitivity to the Tuscan style and vernacular architecture common to major existing campus buildings provided the primary design direction for this major renovation and expansion. The building was totally transformed to create a thoroughly current student experience while respecting the traditional architecture of this historic campus.
52,000 SF New /
160,000 SF Renovation
The fast-track renovation and additions to this circa 1950 Student Union created a completely new center of student life while retaining and enhancing the charm of the existing facility’s Pueblo Revival-style architecture.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Size: 172,000 SF
30,000 SF New / 142,000 SF Renovation
A five story atrium with skylights and escalators provides a strategic link between the older traditional upper campus and the newer academic and residential districts on the lower campus. The atrium is the dynamic center of student life around which a wide array of activities is focused.
Taking advantage of the climate, the Center is organized around an extensive landscaped outdoor courtyard that serves as the hub of student life. The design respects the classic southern California aesthetic that defines the campus.
130,000 SF New /
120,000 SF Renovation
The new Gardner Student Union completely replaced the existing student center on the same site, transforming the sense of community on campus. Phased demolition and construction allowed the student center to remain fully operational during the two phases of construction.
The Davis Student Center has become the hub of student engagement connecting the previously separate academic and residential campus districts. The sustainable design of the facility has led to a campus-wide commitment to sustainable practices in all aspects of University life.
LEED Gold (first LEED Gold student union in the US)