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UW-La Crosse Student Union

Design an easily accessible + flexible student center reflective of the campus culture

Replacing an aging facility, the new centrally-located Student Union, known as “The U,” is a hub for student gathering, social and study areas, offices for student organizations, general-use meeting rooms, performance venues, food service kitchens, dining areas and various retail spaces. The iconic, student-funded facility engaged nearly 500 students to influence a design representative of UW-L’s culture and campus, respectful of the past, and adaptive to the future to create a living room for the entire campus to use and enjoy.

The built environment draws inspiration from its unique surroundings: the exterior an Avant-garde adaptation of Granddad Bluff’s scenic skyline, the interior circulation representing a convergence of La Crosse’s three rivers for intuitive wayfinding. Organic, cross-functioning spaces offer flexibility as well as synergy between occupants in a comfortable, casual environment. Interactive spaces including a play wall, inhabitable staircase, recreational area are incorporated to bring people together. The building includes many sustainable design features and is LEED® Gold Certified.