The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Student Union Recognized at AIA Prairie Chapter Awards

For Immediate Release
Fairfax, VA | 12.10.2018

The UIS Student Union received the 2018 Prairie Chapter Award for Design Excellence.

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Student Union was recently awarded the Excellence in Design by the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Prairie Illinois Chapter. Completed in 2017, the team of Dewberry and Workshop Architects planned and designed the new student union.

The new union was designed to create a vibrant, social environment for students. Programmatic elements were overlapped and interwoven to serve a variety of different functions and create a continuous buzz of activity. The Student Leadership Center is located prominently at the front of the building and features flexible workspaces, meeting areas, and offices for student government and volunteer groups.

The union also features a ballroom and banquet facilities for use by both UIS students and the community. Multi-level student lounge areas weave throughout the building, incorporating a variety of scales and textures. The campus’s dining facilities were also moved into the new union, making it a central place for what has traditionally been a commuter campus.

Another component that creates a sense of community in the union is how the inside spaces spill out to a new “Student Life Plaza,” which frames the south end of the main campus quad. It’s a space in the union that creates opportunity for outdoor programming and large campus events.

The AIA Prairie Chapter’s design jury stated, “the project offers a modern, fresh, and spacious interactive space. The proposed program with flexible work spaces and overlapped activities seems very appropriate as a social catalyst for students on campus.”

The building was designed to LEED® Gold guidelines, and features a 25,000-square-foot green roof, energy-efficient lighting, rainwater reclamation system, and radiant flooring in select areas. 

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  • The new student union features a 25,000-square-foot green roof. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
    The new student union features a 25,000-square-foot green roof. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
  • The “Student Life Plaza” creates opportunity for outdoor programming and large campus events. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
    The “Student Life Plaza” creates opportunity for outdoor programming and large campus events. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
  • There are lounge areas throughout the union that create a sense of community for the students. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
    There are lounge areas throughout the union that create a sense of community for the students. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
  • The union also features dining facilities, which makes the building a central location on the campus. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
    The union also features dining facilities, which makes the building a central location on the campus. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
  • The lounge areas feature a variety of scales and textures, which makes it a comfortable place for students. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
    The lounge areas feature a variety of scales and textures, which makes it a comfortable place for students. Photo courtesy of Dewberry. Mark Ballogg, photographer.
Media Contact

Molly Johnson
703.849.0307
media@dewberry.com