Student Life
Student life facilities provide the most fundamental experiences in building community on campus. Time spent in student centers, dining halls, residence halls, athletic centers, and recreational and wellness facilities can profoundly shape the campus experience and help build close camaraderie among students. We understand work on academic campuses requires a deep sensitivity to the spirit of an institution and a commitment to the concept of community. Our goal with every commission is to design exceptional facilities that enhance the campus fabric and inspire deep bonds with the institution and among fellow students.

For the second year in a row, The Princeton Review has ranked the Kenyon Athletic Center at Kenyon College as the premier college athletic facility in the country.

Considering campuses across all NCAA divisions, The Princeton Review gave the Kenyon Athletic Center its top ranking in The Best 378 Colleges: 2015 Edition. The Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC) at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio opened in 2004 and has transformed student life at Kenyon.

The KAC was conceived as a new type of campus center, where athletic, recreational, academic, and social lives of students intersect. It has significantly strengthened the sense of community on campus, as varsity teams, intramurals, and individuals all use the center, often at the same time. All aspects of project planning were intended to foster student interaction and build community.

The program includes a 50-meter swimming pool, 1,500-seat arena, tennis courts, squash courts, theatre and film library, multipurpose rooms, study lounges, weight room, a field-house/running track, training rooms, and various offices. Read more about the Kenyon Athletic Center.

David Zenk, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and Dan Rutledge, AIA, LEED AP BD+C were the Project Managers for the Kenyon Athletic Center. Contact David or Dan for more information.


The Hetzel Union Building (HUB) is the center of student activity at the University Park Campus of Penn State.

The newly opened addition to Penn State’s main student commons, the HUB/Robeson Center, is not only an exceptional reinvigoration of a crucial part of the State College campus, it represents a new approach for designing campus centers around the country. It is truly a student-centered campus center, in a big part because student facilities fees were a key source of the funding. This provided students with a strong hand in influencing the programming and design. 

To the east and south, the new addition to the HUB replaces a 1970’s era brutalist concrete entrance with a dramatic undulating glass-and-steel canopy that gives the complex an exciting profile, day and night, and beckons students to enter and partake of all that the center offers. Above the adjoining campus bookstore is Penn State’s largest publicly accessible green roof.

Because of its different funding model, the HUB project was able to focus on a new set of design priorities. The new design concept creates a series of zones or “neighborhoods” that are organized around communal nodes or “town centers” tied together by a logical and visually connected flow through the building. The main “town square” is the gathering space beneath the glass roof, open and active, like any urban place, 24/7 for students. The original feasibility planning 10-plus years ago, before consulting student groups, arrayed the new square footage around the building’s periphery, adding pieces here and there, instead of re-thinking what the student center of the 21st century should be.

Publicly accessible green roof.

Read more about the HUB Renovation and Expansion at Penn State University.

David Zenk, AIA, LEED AP BD+C was Principal overseeing the project. Contact David for more information.


Indiana University seeks to transform an underutilized campus district with the new Forest Dining Hall.

Faced with outdated dining facilities in the southeast quadrant of campus and increased competition from area restaurants, Indiana University Bloomington sought to improve its dining facilities serving the Forest and Read residential complex and tapped GUND Partnership to lead the design process. What started as a small renovation has blossomed into a 714-seat dining hall renovation and addition that is transforming student life.

The Forest Dining Hall renovation and expansion seeks to transform an underutilized campus district.

Addressing larger campus master planning goals, the Forest Dining Hall renovation and expansion seeks to transform an underutilized campus district. Creative programming fosters the creation of a social neighborhood community and creates a student magnet for dining and non-meal period socialization.

A variety of dining spaces create intimate environments for dining and non-meal period socialization.

Robert Richardson, NCARB, Senior Associate University Architect for the Bloomington Campus, and John Prokos, FAIA, LEED AP of GUND recently presented the project at the SCUP North Central Regional Conference. View their presentation here. Read more about the Forest Dining Hall renovation and expansion at Indiana University Bloomington.

Holly Miller AIA, LEED AP BD+C was the project manager for the Forest Dining Hall renovation and expansion. Contact Holly for more information.

All 21 apartments constructed in the first phase of Kenyon's North Campus Apartments received LEED for Homes Gold certification.
Improving student housing is a major goal of Kenyon College’s master plan. The North Campus Apartments offers a new approach to student life and provides upperclass students with more independent living experiences. An intimate village of townhouses organized around common green spaces will ultimately house 220 students in apartment-style residences. Phase One opened in 2011 and has been well received by student residents and college leaders. Currently under construction, Phase Two will open for the 2013 fall semester and is on track to receive LEED for Homes Gold certification.
Currently under construction, the North Campus Housing complex will house 220 students in 21 buildings.
To ensure proper performance, each home undergoes onsite inspections and thorough performance testing after completion. Key green design strategies include a geothermal heat pump system, energy model, durability planning and management process, passive random mitigation, low-flow fixtures, CFL and LED lighting, framing efficiencies, and EnergyStar equipment. Phase One received a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score of 65 — exceeding the performance of EnergyStar for Homes by 35 percent.
Common areas on the ground floor foster socialization.
Holly Miller, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and Mark Kohlman, Chief Business Officer of Kenyon College recently presented success stories and lessons learned for planning, funding and designing this housing type at the national No Name Facility Planners Conference. See their presentation here.

Read more about the North Campus Housing initiative at Kenyon College.
Holly Miller, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is the project manager for Kenyon’s North Campus Housing initiative. Contact Holly for more information.

An intimate residential village for students and faculty in the heart of campus creates a more cohesive campus fabric and vibrant living learning community.

Headmaster William Phillip has described the hallmark of Westminster School’s residential experience is community among students and among students and faculty. The current phased initiative of improving student life grew out of the campus master plan. It strengthens the social fabric and brings a greater number of faculty families into the heart of the student residential area to build a vibrant living learning community.

Once complete, the project will create a new residential village organized around a common green space.

New three-story, Tudor-style student and faculty residences reinforce what is best and unique about the Westminster campus fabric and bring residential life up to contemporary standards. The new buildings feature clusters of bedrooms grouped around shared common areas, similar in design to the GUND-designed Edge House that was built in 1996. Phase One includes two new student residence halls and a faculty carriage house.

The Tudor-style student and faculty residences reinforce what is best and unique about the Westminster campus fabric.

The two new residence halls, one for girls and the other for boys, will each feature 49 student beds with both single and double rooms and four faculty apartments ranging in size from one to four bedrooms. Each floor will have a large common room, two student study rooms and two bathrooms. A large recreation area and sizable rooms for storage and laundry facilities will be located on the lowest level of each building.

Loft-like faculty housing is fully accessible with universal design concepts.

The faculty housing employs universal design concepts and is fully accessible. Loft-like studio apartments feature independent entrances, terraces, gas fireplaces and spacious kitchens overlooking open, light-filled living and dining areas. Each apartment was designed with a faculty study, which will be easily accessible to students from the corridors and will support faculty and student meetings. A variety of construction methods are being utilized for economy, including modular boxes, panelized roofs, factory-built dormers and conventional construction methods. The buildings will be heated and cooled with geothermal heat pumps and wells, similar to the geothermal heating and cooling system that exists in the Armour Academic Center. Energy Star principles provide incentives from the utility company and a more sustainable lifetime operation. Read more about the Westminster School Student & Faculty Residences.

Christine Verbitzki AIA, LEED AP BD+C was the project manager of the new Student and Faculty Residences. Contact Christine for more information.


More than just an upgrade of the school’s dining facilities, this LEED Gold certified project represents the comprehensive renovation of much of the school’s most significant building and its adjacent areas.

Headmaster William R. MacMullen described the Horace Dutton Taft Dining Hall project as "an opportunity to create something profound; a space that would affirm the school's historic mission and its most sacred values — the education of the whole student; a commitment to service, honor, hard work and scholarship; and the belief in the power of unexpected moments of learning."

Originally in the East Dining Room, the historic stained glass panels celebrating school sports were restored and incorporated in the West Dining Room windows.

GUND's design approach sought to enrich the 1913 collegiate Gothic dining, academic and student life building, originally designed by Bertram Goodhue, and create a new campus hub that advances the school’s culture and academic mission. The dining rooms feature stained glass windows, plaster moldings, custom light fixtures and paneling. The design team collaborated with a range of artisans and fabricators to create architectural details in the spirit of the school’s historic campus fabric.

Unique plaster moldings were designed for each of the dining rooms. Motifs pick up details from existing campus facilities and strengthen the historic character of the collegiate Gothic dining hall.

Rather than creating a single large dining space, three more intimate dining halls were designed, each connected to a central marketplace style servery. A new West Dining Room was added, while the existing East Dining Room was renovated, and the existing kitchen/storage space was converted in to the North Dining Room with booth seating and a coffee/tea station.

New stained glass panels that celebrate the diversity of the student body were created for the windows in the North Dining Room. Starting with a sports photograph selected by the school, the design team worked directly with a stained glass artisan to develop the images for the new panels.

Traditional Building Magazine recently featured GUND's renovation and expansion as a cover story. Read the article here. Read more about the Horace Dutton Taft Dining Hall at The Taft School.

Holly Miller, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and Dan Rutledge, AIA, LEED AP BD+C worked on the Taft Dining Hall. Contact Holly or Dan for more information.


The Grousbeck Center for Students & Technology at Perkins received a 2013 Accessible Design Honor Award from the Architectural Access Board (AAB) and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA). It was also recognized by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) with a Regional Illumination Award.

As Perkins' first ever social hub for students, the Grousbeck Center combines technology and recreational amenities to facilitate education, vocational training and social skills development. In addition to the student-focused areas, the Grousbeck Center also includes dedicated training facilities for Perkins teachers and visiting educators. GUND's design incorporates a variety of innovative universal design concepts that appeal to all the senses and engage the diverse student body.

The new Grousbeck Center is a vibrant campus hub that encourages innovation, communication and independence, and also expands the school’s teacher training programs and educational outreach.

With universal design concepts at the center of the project’s green design strategies, the Grousbeck Center received LEED Silver certification. Creating healthy environments and providing all users easy and universally accessible control over the building systems was central to GUND’s design approach. Other sustainable design strategies emphasize cost-effective solutions that optimize indoor environmental quality, and reduce energy and potable water usage. Beyond LEED, the school seeks to promote good stewardship of natural resources within the unique context of the school. Read more about the Grousbeck Center for Students & Technology at Perkins.

Christine Verbitzki, AIA, LEED AP BD+C served as project manager for the Grousbeck Center. Contact Christine for more information.