UNT Student Center by Perkins+Will: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Mixed Branding/Graphics
Colleges battle on the gridiron for recruits and resources, but the push continues off the football field, institution-wide. Refreshing a campus student center is a way to stoke home-team pride while attracting potential students and faculty. This renovated and expanded 300,000-square-foot university union reflects the efforts of three separate Perkins + Will offices, not only Dallas for the architecture and Atlanta for the interiors but also, most notably, Chicago for the branding and graphics.
The firm’s U.S. discipline leader for branded environments, principal Eileen Jones, identified storytelling opportunities and tattooed meaning onto the building’s very fabric. To mark special events throughout the academic year, colored LEDs—beacons of UNT’s Mean Green—shine through the fritted glass window walls of new towers, which were added at points of entry. The lyrics of the university fight song appear inside, with brushed-aluminum letters set into the three-story atrium’s white terrazzo flooring. “It pulls at your heartstrings and builds spirit,” Jones says. That’s also where the words of the university values statement shoot down from the ceiling. Attached to stainless-steel aircraft cables, most of the letters are clear green acrylic. She used thicker, opaque white acrylic for the key words, such as sustainability and excellence.
Project Team: Richard Miller; Kimberly Richter; Kay Lee; Dwight Burns; Ingrid Aboujaoude; David Sheehan; Cary Lancaster; Vance Cheatham; Geoffrey Burroughs; Pamela Steiner; Jeff Stebar.