New Student Union
UNIVERSITY OF Illinois Springfield

Located on the outskirts of Illinois’ capitol city, UIS existed for many years as a graduate level commuter school with no residential program, preparing many of its graduate level students for work in the capitol. The campus was built from scratch in a rural field and in spite of its grand circular plan it lacked a center. As enrollment continues to grow and residential life is becoming more robust, the university desired a Student Union that expresses its stature and commitment to student life. Working with stakeholders and students, the design team developed a signature building at the south end of the campus quad. The transparent space features student life prominently on the quad with a new Student Leadership Center while it relocates the Residential Dining program to the building to drive traffic. The Union will elevate the campus commitment to sustainability with a green roof that bends down to the South to control solar gain, a rainwater reclamation system, and will seek LEED Gold certification. Designed to maximize transparency to the North, South, and West, warmth and vitality will exude to the surrounding campus as interior spaces naturally flow into programmable outdoor spaces. The second floor houses a major event and pre-function space for use by the campus and surrounding community with the hallmark of the building being an overlook coffee shop that presents views to the campus quad. The big idea was to create a student union from the ground up as the center of student life on a campus that has come into its own as a university.

Scope: 50,000 GSF New Construction
Total Project Budget: $21,750,000
Project Location: Springfield, Illinois
Completion: Spring 2018
Partner: Dewberry