Sullivan Family Student Center

Sullivan Family Student Center

University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY

Completed 2011
5,600 sq. ft.

Best of Year Merit Award, Educational, Interior Design

This project for University of Wyoming’s College of Education transformed two nondescript levels in a recently renovated classroom building into student lounges. The redesign of these zones is based on combining two academic typologies—the picture gallery and the cloister—and exploiting the friction between them. The perimeter of the space is lined with a series of photographs about the College of Education mounted to a continuous horizontal stainless steel datum. The corridor is both circulation and a gallery. A custom-milled bamboo plywood screen distinguishes the movement in the gallery/corridor from the stasis in the lounges, while physically linking the two floors and extending around the existing utility core to form a legible, materially specific figure. Apertures in the screen, which range from small slits to full doorways, provide glimpses between the interior lounge and the exterior circulation. Located in the center of the project is a thirty-four-foot-tall by thirty-foot-wide topographic model of Wyoming, which extends vertically between the two floors. The model is both an abstract sculpted surface, animating the center of the student center, and a highly detailed representation of the contours of the landscape of Wyoming.

Client:  College of Education, University of Wyoming
Project team:  Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Hye-Young Chung, project manager; Clark Manning, Matthew Clarke, Jason Dannenbring, Laura Cheung, John Morrison

Architect of record:  University of Wyoming Facilities Planning Office

Structural engineer: Robert Silman Associates

Contractor: Elk Ridge Builders and Design

Topographic wall fabricator: Tietz-Baccon Design and Fabrication

Photography: Michael Moran

Publications: 
"A Learning Experience." Interior Design
"Small Spaces, Transforming Results." Oculus