ASU Student Center @ the Post Office
The vision for the new ASU Downtown Student Center grew out of an opportunity to re-use and adapt a previously vacant/historic building at the northernmost boundary of the university’s newest campus. Completed in 1936 in what was then the outskirts of Phoenix; extensive portions of the building’s interior went unused for decades. In partnership with the City of Phoenix, ASU selected the loading dock, original sorting room and basement for its new Student Center. As an urban project, a solution that would embrace the existing park to the south, pedestrian street to the east and growing city to the north was imperative.
Allotted spaces for the Student Center program were never intended for public use. The design solution encompassed 4 distinct strategies to transform back-of-house spaces to vibrant zones of student activity. These include: Open Up (views out + light in), Embrace History (express structure + exploit skylights + intervene lightly), Engage Civic Space Park (enter on the park + align with fabric) and Address the Student (flexible + dynamic spaces for both groups and individuals). A reflective glass wall runs through the perimeter of the space on both levels separating the existing post office functions from student areas, and highlighting interior activities from inside to out. New interventions such as built-in benches, video conferencing zones, and a wood plank walkway engage historic fabric with a light touch allowing the visitor a clear understanding of what came before. The effort included a complete replacement of inefficient mechanical systems creating a smaller carbon footprint while re-using a valuable architectural asset.
2014 AZ Forward Crescordia Award
2014 Governor's Heritage Preservation Award
2013 ENR Best Renovation Project