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. 


Notre Dame's Groundbreaking Student Life Project is Underway

This week, the University of Notre Dame broke ground on the Campus Crossroads project that will wrap the existing iconic stadium with 750,000 square feet of academic, recreation, and student life space. Workshop is proud to have partnered with SLAM Collaborative, 360 Architecture (now HOK), and RATIO Architects to design the Duncan Student Center component of this expansion.

This new two-story student center is interwoven with two recreation sports levels above, creating four levels of the most social and active student zones in the development. The main level includes varied dining environments, active lounges, and an inviting coffee house/programming venue with views of a soaring climbing wall above. The second level adds rooms for media-focused student organizations, meeting and conference functions, and offices for student services, all overlooking active social spaces below. On game days, the Student Center will transform to accommodate the needs of a broader public audience, as the stadium will expand to accommodate approximately 84,000 visitors.

The largest building project in Notre Dame’s history, construction for the facility is expected to wrap-up around fall of 2017. Follow the construction progress on the University’s webcams.

MSU Moorhead Prepares for Comstock Memorial Union Renovation

After a process that began with planning and pre-design efforts in 2012, Minnesota State University Moorhead is preparing for the extensive renovation of the CMU (Comstock Memorial Student Union). CMU, originally constructed in the late 60's, has been untouched since its last renovation in 1992. Read about it in MSUM's The Advocate here.

Erasing the Boundaries: How Notre Dame's Stadium Expansion Expresses Commitment to the 'Whole Student"

The University of Notre Dame's Campus Crossroads Student Center and Rec Sports facility is the tangible fulfillment of UND's commitment to the development of the "whole student." Workshop Architects' own commitment to collaborative planning and design process was a perfect match for the integrative nature of this project. Our process purposefully blurred boundaries among the firms who contributed to the Campus Crossroads project as well as those among academic disciplines, student life, and student service functions. The resulting blend of academic, social, and wellness components in a single project reflects the bold inventiveness of Notre Dame and redefines what it means to support the holistic development of students.

Read more on the Crossroads official press page:

Workshop to Host Education Session with Notre Dame on "Campus Crossroads" at 2014 NACAS Conference in Montreal

Join the AVP for Auxiliary Operations from the University of Notre Dame along with representatives from Workshop Architects, S/L/A/M Collaborative, 360 Architecture and Ricca Design Studios as they discuss some of the most intriguing concepts within their 'Campus Crossroads' project! Learn how this $400M cutting-edge design blends student life with academics, athletics, and community, bringing together various and seemingly unrelated components, which promoted the funding of this 750,000 SF expansion wrapping the University's iconic football stadium. 

More info can be found on the official conference website here.

Workshop Exhibition Opens Friday, February 8th at the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning Gallery

"Capture – the work of Workshop Architects" is an exhibition opening Friday, February 8, 2013 at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning Gallery. The exhibition traces the firm's research-driven design methodology to create environments for social interaction and creative expression. Over the past 15 years, their work for leading educational and cultural institutions has evolved into an ethnographic approach to design inquiry and an unusually high level of client engagement. The opening reception will be preceded by a lecture from Jan van den Kieboom, AIA and Scott Georgeson, FAIA who will share the evolution of Workshop's research and design methodologies as demonstrated in their current work.

Society for College and University Planning Publishes Report by Michigan's Loren Rullman and Workshop's Jan van den Kieboom

With the advent of online living, the need for physical space has shifted. No longer the resource hubs of the past, physical place still has a role to play. The significance of human interaction is becoming a central concern in assessing the need to build campuses. The findings from a 'think tank' of higher education association leaders, campus administrators, architects, planners, consultants, and students are compiled in the article 'Creating Community: Designing Spaces That Make a Difference,' by Jan van den Kieboom, AIA, owner and founder of Workshop Architects and Loren Rullman, PhD., Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Michigan. 

Read the report here.

Summit Offers New Approach to Campus Facilities Planning

Oct. 16–18, the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) convened 50 thought leaders for a think tank at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Representatives from 10 higher education associations, as well as industry partners in architecture, planning, interiors, and dining, discussed the future of campus facilities planning and the role that physical space plays in shaping community and student learning. 

The event, called "Physical Place on Campus: A Summit on Building Community," marked the first time multiple higher education and design professionals have met to discuss this topic. In addition to ACUI, participants represented: 

• Association of College and University Housing Officers–International (ACUHO‐I) 
• Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 
• College Student Educators International (ACPA) 
• American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA) 
• International Interior Design Association (IIDA) 
• Leadership in Educational Facilities (APPA) 
• National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) 
• Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) 
• Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) 

The summit asserted that engagement and interaction outside the classroom are fundamental to learning, and that a sense of community and exposure to others are hallmarks to a well‐rounded education. Attendees worked in cross-functional focus groups to challenge traditional assumptions regarding campus facilities planning and propose new approaches to designing space to achieve stronger forms of campus community. 

Loren Rullman, associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, and Jan van den Kieboom, principal of Milwaukee‐based Workshop Architects, first envisioned the summit concept in 2006. By inviting diverse perspectives that do not typically meet on this topic, the pair hoped to reach across traditional professional and association boundaries to assert that achieving stronger forms of community is an educational imperative, and to challenge conventional approaches to facilities planning. 

Summit participants concluded facilities planning is too often conducted within arbitrary campus silos and reporting lines. 

"What if we broke down some of the terms, labels, and barriers that we currently have in our society, in higher education, and in community?" asked James Carlson, executive director of School Factory Inc. "What if the distinction between student and teacher were dissolved? What if places for creative encounters were spread out throughout campus, but still preserved the overall sense of community?" 

Another theme was that to build community, greater cooperation must occur between campus leaders, architects, and designers. 

"On a college campus, there are so many different pockets of community. And we rarely talk to one another," said Terry Calhoun, director of publications at the Society for College and University Planning. "So what if everyone on campus who works on building community could get together and talk to one another, share their definitions, share their best practices, and not worry about who gets the credit?" 

Additionally, participants discussed how rigid expectations about building typology can constrain changing ideas about design and community. They also expressed the ways in which campus policies can have as powerful a negative effect on community as physical design has a positive effect. Finally, they called for higher education to change the ways in which they think about physical space and community. 

"There is danger in indifference or contentment with the status quo. Our current practices are not always what we should have as our current practices," Said Hali Buck, at‐large member of the ACUI Board of Trustees and Indiana University master's candidate in the higher education and student affairs program. "George Kuh talks about the idea of being 'positively restless,' and I believe this approach will benefit us in our approach to building community." Speakers invited to provoke thought included Peter DeLisle, professor of leadership at Austin College; Eric Stoller, higher education consultant and technologist; Lawrence Abrahamson, senior designer at IDEO; and James Carlson, founder of The School Factory and Bucketworks co‐working environments in Milwaukee. 

Summit participants unanimously called for higher education to plan across typical institutional boundaries, and for additional meetings and conversations to occur. They also proposed an inter‐ association Consortium for Campus Community. 

The summit was underwritten with lead support from Herman Miller, and additional support from Chartwells, Brailsford & Dunlavey, Workshop Architects, the Wisconsin Union of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the ACUI Education and Research Fund. 

A detailed report from the summit can be found on ACUI's website here.