Architectural Redesign of Clemson's Student Union

Posted 9 years ago by Evan Tishuk

Friend, colleague, and recent graduate from Clemson University's School of Architecture -- Aaron Bowman -- proposes a redesigned student union to helpStructural layering diagram for proposed student union

Friend, colleague, and recent graduate from Clemson University's School of Architecture -- Aaron Bowman -- proposes a redesigned student union to help bring the center of social gravity back over to the west side of Clemson's campus:

The existing Union has become functionally obsolete for the university and does not provide the facilities or the amenities necessary to satisfy modern college students. With the demolition of the Johnstone dormitory, a major portion of the West campus housing was lost. The construction of the Hendrix student center on the East side of campus and the relocation of the bookstore also pulled students and others away from the West campus union. This proposal seeks to bring the social heart of campus back to the original west campus location by providing a town square for the university.

Download the full PDF here (1.6mb)

Of note, a movie theater, technology lounge, expanded bowling lanes, and a bar are incorporated into the design. On the south side a double skin system is used for solar control and ventilation. The outer glass layer is fritted with a linear dot pattern that looks modern but also perforates the glare with some beautiful shadows.

Not only is this proposal a first-rate idea, the presentation itself is expertly laid out and beautifully rendered. Keep in mind that the original document is over 25 megabytes and designed to be printed on a plotter and presented as a series of wall-mounted posters.

Birds eye view from the west

I was wondering if student generated designs like Aaron's were ever considered for implementation. So I checked with the university's master plan for the campus, and found that the union is fated to be converted into greenspace and maybe a fountain.

Budget aside, I like Aaron's design better.

Update: I inadvertently linked to the wrong PDF file. Here's the correct link to the aforementioned design document


Keith ~ 9 years ago

Apple is opening a store in the upstairs area of the old student union, above the canteen.

Nobrainer ~ 9 years ago

I can't disagree that the old union is functionally obsolete. However, I'm left wondering why a university would want to invest in pulling people away from the student center that (I think) is less than 10 years old.

Evan Tishuk ~ 9 years ago

The Hendrix Center is on the periphery of the most heavily trafficked parts of campus. The union is in the middle. Not to mention I think the university is large enough to support two lobes of student activity.

cj ~ 8 years ago

Very Cool!!!!!

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