Notre Dame's Duncan Student Center Grand Opening

"The Duncan Student Center is the physical embodiment of the integration we hope our students will explore as they pursue their interests, cultivate their well-being, and discern their futures." - Erin Hoffman Harding, Vice President for Student Affairs, Notre Dame

Students returned to the University of Notre Dame campus for a new semester as well as an entirely new student life experience. As classes began, the Duncan Student Center opened its doors to the entire campus community for the first time. In the first few hours, students trickled in and could be seen scoping out the center's various spaces; including light-filled lounges and intimate nooks, the new coffee house/programming space, new restaurants, new media-focused student organizations, and a new 3-story climbing wall that extends up into the rec center.  Before long, the main thorough-fare and all possible spaces in between were overflowing with students. As the day progressed, everyone seemed to settle into their favorite places, as if the student center had been on campus for years! 

The two main entries of the building are book-ended with an innovation lounge on the south and the coffee house on the north with a spacious gathering space in the middle that includes a warm fireplace.  In its entirety, this blended academic, recreation, and student life facility is a commitment to mind, body, and spirit. At every point of entry, students can find places to refuel, connect, revitalize, engage, and relax. Duncan Student Center is nothing short of inspirational and, at every turn, offers moments of discovery and an experience that is undeniably Notre Dame. 

Select photos courtesy of University of Notre Dame Marketing & Communications

Workshop Wins Georgia Tech Campus Center Ideas Competition

Workshop, in partnership with Gilbane Building Company, Cooper Carry (architects) of Atlanta, and OLIN (landscape architects) of Philadelphia, has won the Georgia Tech Campus Center Ideas Competition. The Workshop team was one of three finalists selected for this multi-disciplinary design-build competition. Our winning proposal conceives of the Campus Center as an experiential path that is punctuated by a series of walks, plazas, richly articulated buildings, spatial experiences, and opportunities for social, creative, intellectual, and restorative engagement. We are delighted and excited to continue working with our partners and the Georgia Tech community in order to advance this incredibly important and fascinating project to its fullest fruition.

Topping Off Marquette's Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons

October 4th marked the topping off of Marquette University's Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons! All participants in the project gathered at the site to view the placement of the final beam, blessed by Father Wild himself, and to eat together in the future dining hall.

This project includes two residence hall towers made up of single and double rooms that are part of a grouping, supporting a neighborhood community feel. The two residential towers are joined at its core by a grand dining hall and shared community spaces complete with fireplace lounges, study areas, multi-purpose spaces, a theater stair, and chapel. The project is anticipated to be completed in time for the Fall 2018 semester. You can read more about the project here.

Dr. Rullman Featured on Higher Ed Live Webcast

Recently, Dr. Loren Rullman, lead strategist at Workshop, was invited to participate in an episode of the Student Affairs Live webcast series, part of the Higher Ed Live network, which brings together the brightest minds in the industry to share knowledge and discuss important issues with each other and with viewers. 

This episode, hosted by Tony Doody, Senior Director of Student Engagement at Rutgers University and co-host of the program, brings Dr. Beth McCuskey, Vice Provost for Student Life at Purdue, and Dr. Tim Davis, Executive Director for Resilience & Leadership Development at the University of Virginia, together with Dr. Rullman to discuss the different ways each manage organizational change and planning. 

The four of them addressed questions such as "What are some common barriers and mistakes made in organizational change and planning efforts? Who is best equipped to lead organizational planning?  Where can we look to internally and externally for assistance and guidance?"

Check out the video (click the graphic) to gain insight from this discussion and learn which of these valuable concepts could be relevant to your organization.

Workshop Designs Interactive Art for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee's 10th Anniversary Block Party

This Summer marks the 10th Anniversary of the founding of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, our neighbors across the street and our favorite station, who have been doing their best to create a more inclusive and engaged city through music and community stories. To celebrate, the local, commercial-free radio station hosted a block party on the two blocks of Pittsburgh Avenue between our two buildings. We saw this as an opportunity not only to celebrate with and get to know our Milwaukee and Walker's Point neighbors, but also to exercise our ability to inspire interaction between community members. We challenged ourselves to achieve this using interactive sculpture and inflatable architecture, reformulating a concept from one of our architectural designers' Masters thesis.


Carthage College Breaks Ground on New Student Residence

Workshop was pleased to attend the groundbreaking for The Tower residence Hall at Carthage College! This project is the continuation of a master plan we completed for Carthage in 2016, and addresses the need for not only more residential space on campus, but also more interactive space for students to meet, rejuvenate, and socialize. This project is anticipated to be complete by August of 2018. 

Workshop Selected for Georgia Tech Design Competition

After a two-phase selection process, Workshop Architects has been named as one of three finalists for the Ideas Competition organized by the Georgia Institute of Technology for the design of its new Campus Center. Workshop is teamed with the Atlanta offices of Gilbane and Cooper Carry for this design-build project. Workshop completed the strategic visioning study for Campus Center in 2015. As past partners of Georgia Tech, we could not be more thrilled to see the Institute advance toward the the goal of creating a new Campus Center. We know that the process has been a long, thoughtful, labor of love from members of the Institute at every level. 

Workshop Moves in Bold New Direction

Workshop Architects hires higher education leader Dr. Loren Rullman to launch organizational strategy and advising practice.

Milwaukee, WI (March 16, 2017) Workshop Architects, a nationally regarded architecture, planning, and consulting firm, announced today the hiring of noted higher education leader Loren J. Rullman, Ph.D. Dr. Rullman joins the design firm after a distinguished 30-year career in university administration, teaching, and research.
“Colleges and universities are increasingly asking for assistance with strategic planning, organizational assessment, leadership advising, business planning, and aligning decision making with vision,” said Jan van den Kieboom, AIA, Workshop’s Founding Principal.  “Loren’s experience supervising staff, overseeing operations, developing facilities, managing change, and teaching students will add tremendous expertise to our already talented team of designers, planners, researchers, and community leaders.”
Rullman is currently Associate Vice President for Student Life at the University of Michigan. For the last decade, he has been responsible for over 600 staff; eight departments; a $150 million budget; served on the campus master planning committee; and guided $1 billion in construction and renovation for housing, dining, recreation, student center, and multicultural facility projects. He has been a presenter at over 40 conferences and an author of 12 publications, served on the Board of Directors for both the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and the Association of College Unions International, and served as a graduate program coordinator and adjunct faculty for Concordia University. In 2011, Rullman and van den Kieboom organized a national Summit on Community comprised of thought leaders from 10 higher education associations.

“I am really passionate about uncovering aspirations, aligning strategies, and unlocking potential in people, places, and organizations,” said Loren Rullman.  “Through our collaboration on facility projects, research efforts, and conference presentations, I have come to appreciate how unique Workshop is – they know great design can help unlock an organization’s potential, especially when supported by clear purpose and superb leadership. I believe we’ll offer our clients unmatched assistance across all these areas, and I am thrilled to join this team.” - Loren Rullman, Ph.D.

Rullman served in similar roles previously at Indiana University, Southeast Missouri State University, and University of Hartford, and holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, a master’s degree in education from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Valparaiso University.

Visit Workshop at ACUI in Philly

Last year, we celebrated our 20th year in practice with all of our friends and partners at ACUI in New Orleans. This year, we are thrilled as always to join the great community we've become part of. Join us at Booth #404 at The Marriott in Downtown Philadelphia Convention Center as we ring in our 21st anniversary with some exciting news! Visit us to find out what's brewing! Read more at and look for our banners!

Workshop Recognized for Research Excellence for Michigan Union Renovation

Workshop Architects earned the Environmental Design Research Association’s 2017 Certificate of Research Excellence for its social research effort, Campus Capital Framework: Mapping Meaning to Inform the Michigan Union Renovation. The EDRA CORE program is devoted to recognizing and celebrating exceptional environmental design research as applied to design projects. Under this program, Certificates of Research Excellence are issued to rigorous and impactful, practice-based design research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design.

The Campus Capital Framework is an online, participatory mapping survey that assessed the significance that students attribute to the Michigan Union and other important places on campus. The framework provides a means to measure student perceptions of a university’s physical campus in terms of places that help generate four forms of capital: (1) social, (2) intellectual, (3) symbolic, and (4) restorative. Results showed that the Michigan Union not only ranks among the most significant places on campus, but is also the only place that ranked among the top settings for each form of capital. These findings provided administrators and designers with a baseline measure of place meaning on campus for the Michigan Union and future campus planning projects, and a basis for future post-occupancy evaluation.

Workshop’s Brian Schermer, PhD, AIA served as principal investigator. Co-recipients of the award include Workshop's Jan van den Kieboom, AIA, Peter van den Kieboom AIA, Nick Robinson, AIA, and Sweta Meier, AIA. All recipients of CORE awards will be recognized at the EDRA48Madison conference, May 31-June 3

EDRA is a collaborative, multidisciplinary community dedicated to connecting theory, research, teaching, and practice to recognize, create and advocate for environments that are responsive to diverse human needs. Read the article for more information about the award and the organization.

Workshop's Big Week at Florida State

This week, Florida State kicked off their Oglesby Union Renovation Project. Members of the Workshop design team, in collaboration with Architects: Lewis + Whitlock, spent the week on campus engaging with the FSU community, gathering input from students and staff, and conducting participatory design workshops. The master planning process will continue with a second campus visit in mid-February.

Workshop Hosts Historic Milwaukee Lecture Series

Workshop Architects hosted two lectures on behalf of Historic Milwaukee, Inc., a non-profit preservation advocacy organization "dedicated to increasing awareness of, and commitment to, Milwaukee’s history, architecture, and the preservation of our built environment" (Historic Milwaukee's About page). 

As part of a training program for volunteer history tour guides, Historic Milwaukee, Inc. held lectures in the Workshop Studio in Walker's Point. The first was held on September 26th and featured Milwaukee's most credited local historian, John Gurda. The second, on October 5th, featured Chris Szczesny-Adams, Professor in Art History at MIAD, who's scholarly focus is nineteenth and twentieth century architecture, art, and material culture. 

NIU Moves Forward With Holmes Renovation

Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University will undergo a major renovation and addition, the first phase of which - renovation of the first floor - has been approved by the Illinois Board of Education. Workshop provided planning, programming, and conceptual design services for NIU's Master Plan, focusing on revitalizing Holmes Student Center to once again be the center of student life on campus. Read more about the project from NIU's student-produced media outlet, Northern Star, and read about Workshop's Master Plan for NIU here

U of M Regents Vote to Move Forward on Michigan Union

The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted on Thursday to move forward with an extensive renovation of the iconic Michigan Union, the third oldest college union in the United States. Read more about the project at UMich''s The University Record here.

UW – Madison and Workshop Celebrate Union South's Fifth Year

Five years ago, an enormous crowd of students stood outside the main doors of Union South awaiting the ribbon cutting. The doors opened and students, alumni, and members of the Madison community poured in to explore their brand new student union. Within minutes, people started finding a comfortable spot – their spot. It was as if they had known the building all their lives, which was no accident. Workshop Architects’ collaborative, research-infused design approach helped to decode the social DNA of the UW–Madison campus, resulting in a place that Badgers and the surrounding community alike would immediately find endearing. Members of the design team from Workshop will host a learning session to discuss the research and design methods that contribute to Union South's continued success. Click here for some incredible highlights from the past 5 years at Union South and more information regarding the celebration!

Workshop Hosts Ex Fabula and Zeidler Center for Public Dialogue

Workshop Architects had the honor of hosting an incredibly thoughtful and dynamic discussion surrounding the concept of white privilege. Ex Fabula invited community members into our studio and shared stories while Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion facilitated a number of moderated talks among small groups to further interrogate the topic. You can read more about the event and their other past and future events on their website. Photos courtesy of Art Montes. 

Workshop Begins Work on the Iconic Michigan Union

Workshop Architects, along with partners IDS and Hartman-Cox Architects, was selected for the programming and design phases for the renovation of the historic Michigan Union at the University of Michigan. Conceived on the cusp of the student union movement and designed in 1915 by the Chicago firm, Pond & Pond Architects, the Michigan Union stands today as one of the foremost institutional and architectural examples of a true campus center. That it is still cherished as a campus icon is testimony to the spirit of the architecture and the ideas behind its creation. We share the University of Michigan's commitment to the preservation and renewal of the Michigan Union as a vital center for campus community, and we are honored to partner with them on this extraordinary project.

K-State Student Union Renovation Breaks Ground

The K-State campus community is excited for construction to begin on their Union renovation! Workshop completed the K-State Student Union Master Plan in early 2014 and was hired to continue and implement design in fall of last year. The project aims to transform the Union into a welcoming and socially/economically thriving facility that will be able to meet the demands of the future. Functions and amenities will be added and be cohesive with the building's overall program, better access and views to nearby campus spaces will be achieved and the building can become a true campus icon; a comfortable and inviting space that will serve as the major social hub of campus.