Campus Commons -- The State University of New York at New Paltz

15,000 SF addition | 13,000 SF renovation | commons | food court | scholar's study | meeting rooms | entertainment center | student ID office | bookstore
The Campus Commons addition and renovation turned a banal, inward-facing student union into glass-enclosed campus center that serves as a new front door to the campus while capitalizing on dramatic views from its setting in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Inspired by its unique regional landscape, the expansion to the student union is expressed as a crystalline palisade whose form and surface recall the tectonic character of the Shawangunk Mountain Ridge located just beyond the site. Set between two existing concrete brutalist buildings, the glass expansion carefully details the connection to its respected neighbors while providing an illuminated gateway to the campus. This studentcentered space provides a place to gather, study, play, and work collaboratively and connects to a reimagined retail and dining concourse on the ground floor of the renovated student union. The renovated second floor provides meeting rooms, student services offices, and the campus’s ballroom; the lower level—while providing a refreshed campus bookstore and new gaming and lounge areas—also links to the neighboring administrative building, a welcomed amenity in inclement weather. Sustainable design elements include radiant heating and cooling, photo-optic lighting controls, and natural day lighting and views. Soon after its completion, the college redesigned the SUNY New Paltz logo to feature our instantly iconic building in all its branding.