LOCATION: Elizabeth City, NC
PROJECT SIZE: 33,550 SQ FT
PROJECT COST: $7,800,000
The Elizabeth City State University Student Center is situated between two existing social venues on campus: The Viking’s Den, a campus dining facility, and the fraternity court, a historic gathering point for ECSU alumni and current students. The varied programs throughout the building - the café/dining area, informal lounge, student bookstore, and multi-function spaces - merge together to create one succinct statement of vibrancy and life.
The first floor of the new Student Center building contains student lounges, a small satellite food service area and accompanying seating, a student bookstore, cafe and a small student orientation area. The second floor contains meeting rooms, a small auditorium, a study lounge, and administrative offices. A large central terrace located to the south of the center is treated essentially as the ECSU ‘town square’ and provides a space for outdoor activities and student interaction.
The Student Center is intended to reinvigorate the existing student center complex with a greater level of student activity and interaction. The sense of ‘place’ that this new facility generates is key to the development of a synergetic campus community that, in turn, is vital to the university educational experience. The center serves as the heart of the campus social activity at Elizabeth City State University.
The most active and utilized spaces, the informal lounge and cafe, are the initial focus upon entry into the Student Center. The lounge area is delineated from the remaining open space on the first floor through the use of material changes and bold accent walls. Color blocks and layered planes create a focal point for the information desk, which becomes a hub of activity for the two spaces. The second level of the Student Center is a continuation of the lounge area below with several multi-function spaces and office suites. The double height lounge area provides the opportunity for various group activities both large and small.
2007 AIA North Carolina Merit Award (State)
Photography: James West