Black Hills State University Student Union
The desire to create dynamic connections between student programming space, student hang-out space, food service and the green space to the North became the focus of our planning efforts. Of course many pieces had to be carefully placed into the puzzle in order to create a consistent flow from old to new. The bookstore was relocated from the basement level to the previous space that food service had on the main level. An entire new market concept was designed at the north end with seating and lounge space around it as the connective tissue to the green space. Student programs and organizations finally had space (where none existed before) on the upper level over-looking the central atrium and lounge as well as connecting to the quad with an outdoor roof patio.
Several challenges came to light as the design process un-folded. The desire to create a new and dynamic series of student focused spaces to the north meant that we had to be exceptionally placing the correct programs and services in the renovated spaces to the south so the union would feel like a singular and complete experience. Of course the age-old problem of the loading dock was one we had to overcome in this project as well. Maintaining its access during construction and finding the right way to connect new spaces to their “product life-line” was not an easy one, but in the end lead us to a solution that was exciting and functional.
The impact of this addition and renovation cannot be over-stated. The light and airy spaces of the atrium have attracted students and community alike to spend time there. The well-controlled but plentiful natural light, renewable energy systems and vegetated roof visibly demonstrate President Schallenkamp’s commitment to the President’s Climate Change Initiative and supported the project’s LEED certification. Students are now able to enjoy the campus front yard and living room in tandem while being engaged in meaningful interactions with other students as well as the environment.
- 2011, ACUI Facility Design Award of Excellence