Reflecting a student-led design approach and the new needs of Arizona State University’s entire campus community, the renovated and expanded campus-and-student center, Memorial Union, was completed in 2017. The newly renovated, 119,000-square-foot facility reinforces existing connections within its campus community, adds such new elements as flexible campus workplaces and prayer spaces for students of the Islamic faith. It also adds multi-use event spaces, large gathering facilities, new high-tech amenities and recreation zones, and a newly planted bioswale outdoors in an area prone to flooding. The student-centered solutions also creates a desired “third space” between residential and academic life, with improved connectivity to adjacent uses and the campus at large.
The project began with extensive student surveys and campus needs research, bringing together key partners: The student survey group, ASU’s Educational Outreach and Student Services, and the Capital Programs & Management Group, among others. The university architect partnered with the senior architect in capital programs, along with the architect and the lead contractor, to ensure student and campus community needs would be met during a very fast-track construction program that would keep the facility open throughout the process.
The primary goal -- to reimagine and revitalize the hub of campus activity at ASU’s Tempe campus based on new and comprehensive student input -- transformed the student center called Memorial Union to better serve some 30,000 students per day.