In concert with Bray Associates, Ken Saiki Design developed a plan to re-envision a new Student Center for UW Eau Claire. The Eau Claire Student Center project features a 154,000 GSF building that serves as a community hub and unites a campus geographically divided by a 105 acre bluff. The architectural design addressed the campus’s need for expanded food-service, retail operations, event rooms, lounges and administrative services while the site design extended many of the same program elements into the outdoor realm.
The design concept drew from the ebb & flow of water in the adjacent Little Niagara Creek and nearby Chippewa River. Hierarchical circulation routes were designed to thread through intimate gathering nodes, dining plazas, and outdoor performance spaces. The 5500 square foot green roof was designed to moderate building temperatures and stage stormwater before discharge into the nearby Little Niagara watershed. The green roof plan also integrated a tiered rooftop plaza to engage students in sustainable design and the beauty of Eau Claire’s lower campus.
Furthermore, the site design included three precast bridge crossings of Little Niagara, a stone amphitheater, a new campus quad space, bioretention basins and preservation of the culturally significant Council Oak tree. Ken Saiki Design provided site planning and landscape architecture for the project, working closely with the entire design team and University stakeholders to holistically integrate the Student Center into the campus fabric.