Commercial Architecture February 2018 - 10
Talley Student Union
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV., RALEIGH
alley's design transforms a 1972 facility into an exciting, interactive, and
interdisciplinary hub for student-life experiences and the entire campus
community. The reconfigured building advances a new model for student centers
through landmark form and an emphasis on shared and flexible spaces. The
result is a welcoming, interactive, and interdisciplinary hub for the entire campus
community, according to Duda|Paine Architects' website (dudapaine.com).
The architecture reinforces pedestrian circulation through strong visual
links to surrounding buildings and to previously disconnected areas of campus.
Each corner provides a prominent landmark, orienting students and visitors
to interior spaces. The iconic Technology Tower-inspired by research at the
university-marks the location of a future pedestrian bridge to North Campus.
The reconfigured building is open and dynamic, redefining NC State's campus
identity and advancing a new model for student-life facilities with an emphasis on
shared and flexible spaces. Key amenities include diversified dining, centralized
student organizations, and integrated exterior/interior environments. Among
other awards, the project received the 2016 Association of College Unions
International (ACUI) Facility Design Award.
Talley has been designated as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) certified building at the Silver level. Sustainable features of the building
open design that maximizes daylight and occupant health and productivity
building materials that were sourced regionally or of recycled content
low-emitting finishes and furniture that preserve indoor air quality
high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and a 50,000-gal. underground cistern
that harvests rainwater for use in irrigation
landscaping with drought-tolerant plants native to the region, paved paths
designed to reflect heat, and rain gardens that naturally filter and absorb
energy-saving, high-performance mechanical systems and windows,
exterior shading, and roofing material that reflects the sun
infrastructure necessary for future installation of green roofs, which are
covered by a layer of plants that reduce a building's cooling costs and
environmental impact from stormwater runoff
during construction nearly all discarded materials were reused or
recycled, and robust recycling and composting programs now exist to
ensure sustainability in the building's daily operations
strategic proximity to public and campus transit, resulting in reduced
automotive use from the building's users.
Talley is the fourteenth university building since 2011 to earn LEED certification,
bringing the total amount of LEED-certified space on campus to more than
900,000 sq. ft.
ing in conglomerate buildings that at one time accommodated incremental
growth but are at odds with campus designs and the evolution of university-life programs.
"Student unions now serve as a university's crossroads to connect the entire
campus and its community in a tangible and direct way," Smith said. "These
buildings reinforce and enhance existing campus connections, spirit, and character, but also become transformative for their institutions. Student unions
should provide campus social hubs and be extroverted; they must create a dialogue between inside and outside spaces that facilitate large gatherings and
events, present diverse dining opportunities, and welcome people inside by
showcasing active program and lounge spaces. Students want a place to connect
socially, but also provide resources for academic and career success. To achieve
this, student unions now house a great variety of social spaces, from small-scale
quiet nooks to large, f lexible meeting and conference rooms."
Today's student unions serve future students and alumni in addition to
current students. They are often the origin point for campus tours for prospective students, new student orientations, convocations, and alumni events.
Benchmarking of comparable institutions provides insights into important
programmatic components, contemporary building character, and architectural expression. Ultimately any renovation or new building serves the current
student population, but also must facilitate competitive recruitment, support
student retention, and ensure alumni support, Smith commented.
According to Smith, the success of student unions relies on establishing
connections to other campus academic, recreation, housing, and dining facilities. In addition, the variety and character of student amenities within the
building have been evolving, and student expectations of available features
and comforts have continued to escalate. "In recent years, students and universities have expressed a high level of expectation about student-center design, which is a wonderful thing for architects," he said.
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