Commercial Architecture February 2018 - 12
Right. The reconfigured Talley Student Union 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
Below right. The Talley Student Union serves as a campus social hub and
provides space outside of dorm rooms to meet or study. Student unions are
often open for extended hours and thereby serve as an alternative to the socializing that in the past might have occurred in a local bar scene.
meeting and scheduling systems, digital resources and WiFi
infrastructure, we see a more fundamental level of human
interaction as equally essential. We're designing buildings
that perform, that meet their programmatic needs, but also
provide a variety of spaces for critical interaction between
individuals and larger groups."
TECHNOLOGY IS EVERYWHERE
Technology is ubiquitous on university campuses today,
and student unions have been influenced on many fronts
with regards to technology and social media. Social media
is used to promote and advance student support on referendums that fund building projects, advertise significant
events and gatherings, and celebrate milestones in the design and construction process. Surveys distributed through
social media have influenced dining choices, student
lounge and meeting room sizes, and retail options, Smith
"Technology has also significantly impacted transportation access," he said. "It's no longer necessary for students
to stand for long times waiting for shuttles in a specific area.
Instead, many campuses have incorporated tracking programs and apps available on screens in the building or on
student's phones, so students are notified when their transportation will arrive. Gaming is another area that is transforming the way traditional 'game rooms' operate and are
positioned within buildings. Gaming is now incorporated
into lounges that are front and center, so students can
watch or participate in groups. To accommodate this, the
edges of games rooms are more open and widely dispersed.
The efficiency of meeting spaces has also been significantly
impacted by technology that allows groups to reserve spaces and to collaborate and present material in new ways."
Technology is not just about social media and gaming,
however. "Building functionality and sustainability have
also been greatly influenced and made possible by new
technologies. Systems track composting and recycling,
building energy, and water usage and make this information more accessible. There is a greater expectation that student-union design incorporates green roofs and other sustainable elements. This expectancy is good for everyone,"
Features unheard of in student unions just a few years
ago are being introduced. "We are also seeing spaces tradi12
COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE