University of Illinois Springfield
Architect: Workshop Architects, Inc.
Owner: University of Illinois Springfield
Contractor: Williams Brothers Construction
With its simple forms and elegant design, the Student Union has become an icon for the campus. Its contemporary form and composition complement the existing campus scale, character, and palette of materials, while also creating its own identity as a building with a social mission.
The lounges, restaurants, and large multipurpose/ballroom space are centered at the west end of the building and have an open and transparent feel so that whether one is inside or outside the building, there are wonderful views of the Quad to the north and recreational areas to the south. A two-story open lounge connects the building’s interior spaces, thus creating a dynamic heart for the building and campus. Its open design enhances the social nature of the building. With its expansive windows, outside terraces, and overlapping functions inside, visitors to the Student Union are afforded views to, from, and all around the building.
The second floor features an innovative, highly flexible banquet hall for 400 seats and pre-function spaces for use by the campus and surrounding community. Large doors open wide from the banquet hall, thus creating options for even larger gatherings and events.
The Union elevates the UIS commitment to sustainability. UIS is seeking a LEED Gold certificate. The building has a green roof with almost 200,000 plants over a sloped membrane. The sloping roof provides shade to lower interior temperatures and will last longer than a conventional roof. The roof also incorporates a rainwater reclamation system to reduce storm runoff and limits the need for irrigation. Lighting was designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s very stringent requirements.
Photos: Mark Ballogg