Project Description

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Student Union Expansion 

Orlando, Florida
University of Central Florida 

  • 32,794 sq. ft. 
  • Associated Architect: Zyscovich Architects 

With the University of Central Florida’s student population exploding to over 66,000, the Student Union known as the “heart of the campus” drastically needed to increase service capacity.  This 32,794 SF addition adds 26,000 SF meeting and event space, student government facilities, and expanded food & beverage offerings. The new food court, located on two floors, now accommodates 10 vendors, doubles dining capacity to approx. 1,400 seats, and creates additional study options for non-diners.  The indoor-outdoor connection was also enhanced capitalizing on the adjacent beautiful cypress dome preserve to provide students with additional study/dining options.  The expansion presented the opportunity to add 21st century amenities. The new third floor houses the Student Government Senate Chamber featuring state-of-the-art electronics, audio-visual systems, and capacity to accommodate future innovations. 9,000 SF flex space provides students and faculty with new meeting and conference amenities. The primary design driver was reinforcing the updated UCF brand and experience throughout the entire facility. One of the design challenges was marrying the original Pegasus marquee in the center of the rotunda floor with the updated UCF color palette and interior finishes of this project.  To honor college legacies, the design team drew inspiration from biophilic patterns created by the constellations. These patterns were abstracted in the flooring and the ceiling planes to create a modern energized interior. The project materiality is enduring and grounded pairing with bright pops of color in the furniture and furnishings for an inviting experience. The flex space was designed to accommodate a variety of groups for private meetings as well as larger meetings with breakouts.  The “constellation” wall is comprised of a bright accent color and organically placed sconces that create a star-like pattern. This whimsical feature remains visible and can be enjoyed even when movable glass partitions are closed