Bellarmine Preparatory School Campus Center, Tacoma WA
The campus center site is located to the west of the Bellarmine Campus between the Quad and the campus parking. The project is intended to be the heart of Bellarmine student life. It consists of a multi-purpose space that primarily functions as the student cafeteria, but also accommodates large student functions and private events off campus hours. The cafeteria is supported by a servery and other food service related functions. The cafeteria is wrapped on its two sides with the campus administration and counseling that provides support to the students on campus. The building is activated on all the corners with programs that reach out to the reinforce the student life.
Wendy Pautz, Osama Quotah, Rob Curran, Animish Kudalkar
Mechanical - PAE Consulting Engineers
Civil Landscape - AHBL
The Campus center program is defined by two formal moves. A blue wall that wraps the cafeteria and with its playful composition helps consolidate the functional aspects that serve the program. A concentric brick wall wraps rest of the program and opens up to reveal the student outreach spaces including the inner blue wall at strategic vantage points around the building. The material concept revolves around the two formal moves and hence rest of the interior walls are either mute or provide a contrast to emphasize one or the other formal moves.
Another key element of the project is the communal stair that not only connects the two levels of the building but helps activate the adjacent campus corridor. The communal stair to the south makes use of the 10' grade differential on site to create a space for the students to mingle before class and provides a covered pathway for the students who are walking to other buildings on campus.
The wall adjacent to the stair is glazed to make the space inviting and visually connect with rest of the campus. The east and west ends of this glazed wall make ideal points of entry into the building. The south east corner on the upper level accommodates a club meeting room that hosts student activity group meetings during school hours and opens up to private events during rest. The glazed wall right across the club meeting room opens out to a terrace so people can gather during school ceremonies or private events.
The Administration and Counselling offices have their own individual suites that are located towards the north east corner so they are close to the campus buildings and away from the more active areas of the building.