Plans for New South Student Center presented to students

University officials and Joe Tattoni of the ikon.5 architecture firm presented updates on the plans for the New South Student Center on Monday. The facility aspires for a clean aesthetic with a modern look. The project emphasizes eco-friendly initiatives with skylights, green indoor walls, and solar screens on the south windows to reflect heat.

The shrubbery on the slope going down to Prospect Road will be renovated with a paved walking space and a lawn with trees and grills, termed the Riverside Terrace. A raised wooden deck at the end of the lawn next to Village A is envisioned as outdoors seating for the Pub overlooking the Potomac.

The Pub is projected to hold 100 people seated and 200 standing and will also have a service window for pub food. Students at the meeting raised concern over how expensive the food and drinks would be, which the administration said is still being decided with the business that will operate it.

Just outside of the Pub is what is called the Great Room, the main space of the NSSC. The Great Room is a large study space. The south wall will be entirely composed of glass and will see out to the Terrace. A cylindrical hearth in the middle will divide the room and have seating along the outer edge as well as more intimate seating on the inside, envisioned for discussion uses. The west end of the room will be raised, be equipped with a projector screen, and serve as an informal stage for presentations or musical performances. A skylight on the ceiling will further serve to light the space.

Down the hallway at the northwest entrance will be the Corp-run smoothie café, and further down there will also be a TV lounge, three meeting rooms, and music practice rooms further along. On the right will be twelve private study rooms, equipped with a built-in flat screen, glass panels for writing on, and printing spaces.

The center will also include two dance studios, a ballroom, a meeting room, and office space.

All of the above plans are subject to change before ground breaks and much input is still needed, such as for pub wall decorations and for the wall next to the Grand Stair, which could serve as mural space. When asked what solutions existed for the student groups that would be moved out, the administration responded that it was still working on a contingency plan.

University officials plan to have another meeting to solidify specific details, such as wall decorations and furniture, before construction is planned to break ground in June, sooner than previously expected.

All images courtesy Joseph Tattoni/ikon.5 architects

3 Comments on “Plans for New South Student Center presented to students

  1. Thoughts:

    1. This is a vast improvement over their early drafts, and it no longer resembles the Leavey Center. Finally they understand that they can’t put everything in one small building.
    2. Partially, this is because they are screwing over the dance groups on campus. Whoops. Hope they can fit in dance rooms elsewhere (ie in the new athletic center).
    3. Hope to God they don’t stick to the modern aesthetic when buying furniture. CB couches look great, but are a little too waiting room-y.
    4. Any word on the trees south of Prospect? You can’t really have anything overlooking the Potomac unless you can see the Potomac. I think the land is owned by the NPS.

  2. This looks great!

    As for the furniture, I agree with Babs. While I love modern design (Arne Jacobsen anyone?), the problem with how it is too often implemented is that it looks dated too fast. Go with something more traditional and we will be happier for longer.

    Regarding the trees, I think the NSSC will be high enough that they will not completely block the river view. I think it would be a travesty to cut them down, as I find the lack of trees (save Copley lawn) a real problem.

    The center looks great. Thanks to everyone who worked on it!

  3. @Babs — it looks from the designs like they are putting two dance rooms in on the first floor (they may be smaller than the original version, but they’re there).

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