POTSDAM -- Nearly two years after it opened, Clarkson University’s new Student Center continues to earn honors, the latest being its selection for the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Facility Design Award of Excellence.
Presented late this spring at the annual ACUI conference in Boston, the award recognizes excellence in design of college unions and other student-centered campus buildings. Clarkson was one of seven award winners. Entries were judged on the facilities’ appearance, on the design process, and on how the facility affects the campus.
The award is seen as validating the collaborative and inclusive process architects Perkins + Will used.
Students voted in 2006 to support a new student union. The goal was to unite student programs in one building and to link the new center to the other academic buildings on campus.
In 2010, Perkins + Will and contractor Pizzagalli Construction delivered a design for a gleaming, glass-bridged, three-story, 60,000-square-foot student social mecca for the University’s 3,500 students.
The facility houses study rooms and lounges, a large food service area, a cafe with game room, conference and meeting rooms for student groups, a graduate student lounge, an international student lounge, a virtual game room, small grocery store, mail room, music practice rooms, and facilities for the student newspaper, radio station, and television station – and even a meditation room.
The center is a LEED Silver-targeted facility. This environmental showcase uses special building blocks invented by a member of the Clarkson engineering faculty. The overall material includes 20 percent recycled industrial glass. The building team and Perkins + Will also incorporated historic Potsdam sandstone inside the center in honor of the university’s roots.