Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center
Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio
his new 82,000 square foot Student Center provides an iconic gateway building for an expanding campus. It provides maximized benefit to the university by combining student recreational functions and student union functions in one energy-efficient building.
Designed to be the University's new public face, the student center provides the visual connection between the campus, the community and nature. It provides transparent vistas throughout the building, allowing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to see through the building. The facility was planned to resonate with energy and pulse with campus life, acting as a place to see and be seen. In addition, it is the first building on campus to achieve a LEED Gold rating.
On entering the building the eye sees past the lounges, grille, café and terraces to the ravine. Located on the first floor are gathering spaces and eating functions, centered on space that opens to the floor above.
Many of the functions on the second floor overlook the first floor in keeping with the see and be seen goals of the Student Center. Located on this floor are the quiet lounge, major conference rooms, the President's dining and the Meditation Suite that overlook the ravine, as well as student organization spaces that overlook Sunbury Road. Administrative and Wellness suites are also located here.
The jewel of the facility is the fitness area, which becomes a unique architectural object popping out from Alumni Hall and serving as a visual connection for the students ion the residence halls on the east side of Sunbury Road. The fitness wing is connected to the existing Alumni Hall, which serves as the main athletic gymnasium. Included in the fitness wing is the main multipurpose/dance studio, which overlooks the cardio/weight area, locker rooms and an additional multipurpose athletic court.
The open nature of the floor plan combined with natural lighting from the clerestory windows above and extensive glazing allows a visual connection between the interior and the exterior. The passive recreation area in the bridge connecting the Student Center with Alumni Hall on the second level allows the infiltration of natural light in the daytime. At night, this space glows like a beacon. The connection of the Student Center to Alumni Hall creates a unified complex that can be shared for large events such as graduations and speaking engagements.
The architectural articulation of the fitness center and the connecting bridge ensures the buildings are not perceived as one massive complex, but as a series of interconnected parts on a warm and accessible human scale.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.ohiodominican.edu/studentcenter