The New Student Center project at UDC’s Van Ness Campus was completed by CannonDesign in association with Marshall Moya Design. The building is an iconic structure on the District of Columbia’s flagship campus. The 83,000 sq. ft., $63 million building integrates LEED elements to be sensitive to its urban context and environment, and has been certified LEED Platinum.
The UDC student center acts as a gateway to the Campus. Along Connecticut Avenue, the new building is marked by a new public square and a clock tower. The university building serves as a model for sustainability and green practices for not only the students and visitors who utilize the center, but also for the community. The Student Center is one of only two student unions on the east coast to have received a LEED Platinum certification. The building and streetscape design animates the public realm at ground level through activity related to the student center, and creates a strong visual, functional, and symbolic connection between the campus core and Connecticut Avenue. With the new design, the university now has the opportunity to re-brand itself both physically and metaphorically as a 21st century institution of higher learning.
The student center is a hub of student activity and provides resources for the local community. It contains a mix of uses, including a welcome center, a ballroom, space for student government and activity offices, assembly space for university programs, and spaces for student leisure and socializing. It also contains restaurants intended to cater to the planned mix of residential and commuter, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, staff, and visitors.