NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will announces the completion of seven student union projects across the United States and Canada. This unprecedented portfolio of recent work represents designs for public and private institutions of higher education in Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Ontario.
Through their experience designing 50 student union projects, long-term client engagement, and in-depth research, Perkins+Will's higher education practice predicts four trends related to student unions:
Project delivery through public/private partnerships (P3)
The delivery of projects through public/private partnerships is on the rise. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the university was able to fund their project by creating a partnership with the architect, contractor, developer, and a non-profit organization that sold bonds to finance the project. P3 offers the ability to deliver a public project through a private delivery process that is more time- and cost-efficient than a typical public process. In the P3 process, the project team is motivated by cost guarantees and incentives to deliver the project in a shorter timeframe that results in cost savings without compromising quality.
A hub that unites with "the spaces between"
Education does not simply happen in the classroom or lab - it is an integrated experience that happens as students interact in the hallway, dining hall, auditorium, meeting room, and fitness center. Student union projects are being designed for the future, focusing on these "spaces between" that increase the potential for spontaneous interactions that are fundamental to a holistic education. We believe that a "high tech" learning environment will never completely replace the "high touch" academic experience.
Diversity is central to the student experience
Often placed in disparate locations, diversity programs at universities are now central to student life. At the Colorado State University, Lory Student Center, the cultural richness of their diversity programs is visibly seen at the entrance through the shared commons, customized office doors, and displays of heritage art. The prominence of the diversity programs and services signals a paradigm shift in the importance of diversity on campus.
Demand for more sustainable buildings
Tomorrow's buildings will generate more power than they consume, harvest more water than they use, and will become inseparably connected with their ecosystems. At the Case Western Reserve University, Tinkham Veale University Center, an innovative glass curtainwall was designed to address solar heat-gain and a green roof, including photovoltaic panels, was central to the design, integrating the building with nature both visually and physically.
The projects include:
Case Western Reserve University, Tinkham Veale University Center in Cleveland, Ohio
Colorado State University, Lory Student Center in Fort Collins, Colorado
Kings University College, Student Life Centre in London, Ontario
Parkland College, Student Union in Champaign, Illinois
San Jose State University, Student Union in San Jose, California
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Wood Center in Fairbanks, Alaska
University of Massachusetts Lowell, University Crossing in Lowell, Massachusetts
An e-book of photos and details about the projects can be viewed here.
Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm established in 1935 and founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities. Each of the firm's 24 offices focuses on local, regional, and global work in a variety of practice areas. With hundreds of award-winning projects annually, Perkins+Will is ranked among the top global design firms. Perkins+Will is recognized as one of the industry's preeminent sustainable design firms due to its innovative research, design tools, and expertise. The firm's 1,600 professionals are thought leaders developing 21st century solutions to inspire the creation of spaces in which clients and their communities work, heal, live, and learn. Social responsibility is a fundamental aspect of Perkins+Will's culture and every year the company donates 1% of its design services to pro bono initiatives. For more information, visit www.perkinswill.com.