Oglethorpe University

Oglethorpe University Turner Lynch Campus Center

Constructed in the early 1970’s, Emerson Student Center at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, lacked the necessary space and facilities to keep pace with the University’s strategic goals related to the quality of student life on campus. Interior space configurations, lack of desired indoor/outdoor relationships and an architectural character antithetical to the campus as a whole all contributed to Oglethorpe’s desire to upgrade Emerson.

The final system provided for roof and driveway runoff to be collected into three separate area of bio-retention. These features allow for both filtration and ground water recharge. Excess water is then directed to a below-grade cistern for reuse in the landscape. Patio areas for student interaction adjacent to the restored stream and riparian buffers are constructed utilizing a porous paver system which allows for infiltration into the water table and a resulting flow to the stream. A comprehensive landscape design focusing on native riparian materials supplements the existing tree canopy and provides a visual connection and completeness to the space.

Through the application of a comprehensive planning and design process, the new Emerson Student Center delivers a solution that will provide needed social space for student life within established financial goals and with a demonstrable ethic of environmental stewardship.

LocationAtlanta, Georgia
Year Completed2013
Size50,000 sf
Design TeamBob Hughes
CollaboratorsCollins, Cooper, Carusi