Georgia Tech, Campus Center
Georgia Tech’s Student Center has served as the central location for creating campus community since debuting 50 years ago. Additions and renovations over the years hadn’t kept pace with Georgia Tech’s growing enrollment, resulting in a sprawling building that was hard to navigate and inwardly focused. Cooper Carry collaborated with Workshop Architects and OLIN landscape architects to expand connections at many scales: between the project and the campus, between interior and exterior, between spaces inside the buildings, and ultimately between students.
The central organizing idea of the project was to expand the Campus Center footprint to include nearly 12 acres of campus, providing students with additional opportunities to reset, restore, and refuel. The four buildings that make up the Campus Center are sited along a major pedestrian thoroughfare through campus, with extensive porches and patios, new landscaping, and improved connections to adjacent buildings and other pedestrian paths. The Campus Center’s offerings are now more inviting and accessible. Similar principles guided the design of both interior and exterior spaces, including intuitive wayfinding, a variety of scales, and flexibility for a range of programmed and spontaneous activities. The heightened level of engagement from students is the ultimate sign of the project’s success.
Completed in 2020, Phase I of the project added three new buildings with ample amenities, including a standalone cafe, wellness-themed pavilion, and the Exhibition Hall, an expansive event facility with 11 meeting rooms and a ballroom. Phase II opened in Fall 2022, and it completely reworked the original building and added a three-story addition. Offerings include flexible spaces for student organizations, two theaters, a variety of lounge and dining spaces, numerous food and retail venues, and a gaming area. Renamed for the late civil rights activist, the John Lewis Student Center promotes his legacy of leadership and engagement.