University Center
University of Wisconsin – River Falls


Over the years, UW–River Falls had grown in opposing directions, creating the feeling of two distinct campuses. In addition to the programmatic needs of the Union, UW–River Falls longed to bridge the widening gap between its halves. One side of the new union matches the structured, rectilinear quality of the academic heart of campus, while the other reflects the adjacent river and wetlands. Balancing both personalities, the building connects the halves, organically forming a strong central hub for the university community.

Through a highly participatory planning, visioning, and design process, River Falls’ students found common voice in their call for sustainability. One of the UW system’s first sustainable buildings, the University Center includes a student-maintained kiosk to inform visitors about the sustainable aspects of the design. Revenues have increased and the number of visitors has jumped from 5,000 a week to a maintained 7,000 a day. The building has also won numerous design awards, including the Facility Design Award of Excellence from the Association of College Unions International.


Scope: 147,000 GSF New Construction
Total Project Budget: $34,000,000
Project Location: River Falls, Wisconsin
Completion: Spring 2007