University of Minnesota Duluth’s Kirby Student Center and Workshop Architects received a Facility Design Award at the 98th annual conference of Association of College Unions International (ACUI) held in Anaheim, California, in March 2018. Workshop Architects planned, programmed, and designed the renewed Kirby Student Center, with local support from LHB. Per the ACUI website, "The ACUI Facility Design Awards were created to encourage and recognize excellence in the design of student-centered facilities that support campus community building and student learning." Read more about the project.
“Simply put, the first-floor renovation changed Kirby from a hallway to a landmark. Before the renovation, the lounge and the student organization spaces were blocked off from the hallway by brick walls; it was cramped and dark and dated, and people passed through our first floor on their way to somewhere else. Now, Kirby is a destination. Students see what’s happening in the lounge or on the porch and stop by to chat with their friends, to hang out, to do their work, to play pool or foosball, or to visit the student organization offices.
The design of the space has so much to do with that: it’s open, inviting, and an incredibly efficient use of the square footage we have. Our first floor is so utterly transformed that our alumni have a hard time picturing how things used to be.”
- Jeni Eltink
Director, Kirby Student Center