Facility Focus (Student Centers)

Georgetown University: Healey Family Student Center

Georgetown University: Healy Family Student Center

PHOTOS © BRAD FEINKNOPF

The Healey Family Student Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, is a 45,000-square-foot renovation and addition designed by Ikon.5 architects that transforms an existing mid-century residence hall into a vibrant new university living room for undergraduate life. Inspired by the unique “Hoya Saxa” (living stones) identity of the Georgetown student body, the center creates an experience of study and casual living spaces carved out of interior and exterior stone edifices.

The “Saxa” living wall is a stone-clad green wall that provides a natural bio-friendly character to the Great Room that overlooks the Potomac and is one of many design features that assist this project in achieving a LEED Gold certification. Inside the “Saxa” living wall are 12 individual group study rooms with enhanced video display systems and writable glass partition for students to work on projects together or separately.

The Riverside Terrace is an outdoor landscaped area that extends the living space of the Great Room outdoors and overlooks the Potomac.

Supporting the casual and study spaces of the student center are a pub and smoothie café that offer alternative food venues to the campus dining hall. An art gallery and music and dance studios give the student artists a place to showcase their craft. A 350-seat ballroom and dividable meeting rooms offer multipurpose use for student organizations and groups.

The overall character and themes of each of the program spaces evoke the proud heritage of the university in a contemporary architectural language that builds on the “Hoya Saxa” identity of Georgetown and adds to the many interpretations of its Latin root in built form.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.

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