Wayne State just released some fresh renderings of its Student Center, the dated concrete structure finally headed for a transformative renovation. Armed with $26.5M, architecture firm Neumann/Smith brought out the big guns to combat the building's confining gloominess: The Atrium.
Completed during the late-1960s, the Student Center was architect Alden B Dow's attempt to "consciously defy nature," writes Michigan Modern. Using glass and natural light, designers will be consciously defying Dow, blurring the building's stark lines.
The ground floor grabs easy square footage simply by moving the exterior wall out to the row of columns, enclosing what used to be an overhang. A three story atrium will enclose the entire south side after its original exterior walls are punched out. The atrium zone will feature casual seating.
Even the lower level gets some sunlight, with a sunken garden allowing for windows that would've otherwise been impossible. Check out the project's website for the giant list of the amenities are on the way (Panda Express) and when they'll be ready. July 2015 is the official ETA.
As for the paper airplanes dangling from the North Commons ceiling, the end is bittersweet. A single ceiling tile will be preserved and put on display after renovations, offering a small monument to what the Student Center Director calls "The only true student-generated tradition Wayne has."
· Wayne State's Outdated Student Center Heads for Renovation [Curbed]