Students envision redesigned Leavey Center

On Wednesday, Brad Lukanic of Cannon Design, led students, architects, and University administrators in a “visioning” of the renovation of the Leavey Center that is to occur over the next two decades.

In contrast to the last student space forum, a consensus emerged at the meeting: Leavey should maximize workspace for student groups, whereas the New South Student Center should serve as “hang-out” space for the student body at-large.

Lukanic led the room in brainstorming exercises, in which both students and University officials characterized Leavey as an “inefficient and insufficient response to student needs.”

Other characterizations called it a “de facto student center by process of elimination” and a “hallway and parking lot.” Multiple responses said the center’s purpose was to confuse people. Lukanic noted that these problems were endemic to Leavey’s design.

Most participants at the meeting agreed that the redesign should maximize student organization space at the expense of hang-out space.

“We’re very much lacking space in terms of collaboration,” said Emma Green of Philodemic (COL ’12).

Lukanic had the meeting’s attendees rank desired uses for space in Leavey and the NSSC, respectively. Participants were nearly unanimous in their desire to see group spaces in Leavey and a student lounge in New South. “Now I don’t care about any student group space in New South,” said Alex Pon (COL ’12), Corp CEO.

Other desired uses of the Leavey Center included work space for informal student groups, better availability of the esplanade for events like outdoor concerts, and an archetypal “Georgetown” feel instead of generic university architecture.

Additionally, Kathleen McCollough of GPB (SFS ’12) and Chris Pigott of GUSA (COL ’12) expressed their desires that the space be intuitive. Both cited how difficult it is to give people directions to and within the center.

Meetings about the Leavey center will continue into the fall, when Cannon Design will present to the University possible scenarios for renovation. The University will decide how to move forward from there.

Otherwise, the completion of the New Science Center and the proposed conversion of the Leavey Center Hotel into an upperclassman dorm leave some uncertainty as to the future usage of Leavey. In the mean time the University will add interim worship spaces for Jewish and Muslim chaplaincies and renovate Bulldog Alley for the start of the fall term 2011, according to University architect Gina Bleck

Meanwhile, her office is compiling a list of miscellaneous social spaces on campus, such as Alumni Lounge, to include in the University’s overhaul of student space.

8 Comments on “Students envision redesigned Leavey Center

  1. their portfolio is legit. Sleek and modern, but off the hizzaww. I think for leavey that is probably the only realistic direction. Its flanked by corporate park-style behemoths and would need huge amounts of work to look “classic” (read: healy, dahlgren, white gavenoresuqe). I drew up some sketches of what I think we should do:

    /\n / \n / | |\n | n|

    notice what I did with the roof and the walls and the door?
    I hope that DC, and georgetown in particular, can resist “clarendonization” where you put up these really neato POS modern glass beige toupe maybe a touch of brushed aluminium buildings. So uninspired. see for what not to do. s

  2. nnoooooo
    it reformatted my drawing. butt!!

  3. All this is good news, but “over the next two decades?”

    I think it’s logical to say that the student group/collaboration space could be concentrated in Leavey and the more casual/lounge/study space could work in NSSC. But in twenty years? What’s the point?

    Also, a quick look through Cannon’s portfolio shows modern but sane designs. I also see a variety of styling among the designs, indicating that they take into account individual characters of their clients into account.

  4. Cannon just designed UDC’s new student center.

  5. YES! A long-awaited dose of sanity when it comes to space decisions. No need to try to cram club AND social space into both Leavey and NSSC (not to mention the Healy Pub!). Much better to have each space serve one purpose well than to attempt and fail at serving a variety of purposes.

  6. That’s how you spell her name…

  7. Pingback: Vox Populi » Student Space Forum raises questions, short on answers

  8. Pingback: Vox Populi » New South Student Center forum unveils more concrete plans for the space

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