Emory University Student Center

Atlanta, Georgia

Emory University envisioned a student center to serve as a central hub for discourse, social gathering, cultural exploration and service opportunities. The new facility creates a ‘new heart’ at the crossroads of multiple campus pathways. Recurring themes of ‘community building,’ ‘collaboration space,’ and ‘out of the box thinking’ informed the arrangement of pavilions and multi-story spaces on a hill. A generous canopy unifies the individual pavilions, which are made permeable with the creation of circulation and lounge areas placed between program elements including intimate study spots and a large public piazza.

The project address growing demands for student-oriented space; a desire for larger, more flexible and efficient dining, technology and infrastructure; and expanded room for student organizations, socializing and gathering. New dining facilities offer options for all dietary needs. A large 1,200-seat event space includes spillover capacity to accommodate another 400 additional seats.

Emory Campus Life Center
Emory Campus Life Center

Fifty percent of the program, including the loading dock, kitchens and grand spaces for convening, took advantage of existing topography, recessing underground to create significant functional and systems efficiency. Features such as a geothermal field for heating and cooling, multiple ventilation systems and shading devices, chilled beams, daylight harvesting and solar water heating made the Emory Student Center the first building at campus to achieve LEED Platinum.

Emory Campus Life Center


118,000 sf

Completion Date

March 2019



LEED Platinum Certified


Best Project Award of Merit, Higher Education, ENR Southeast Best Project 2020

Citation of Excellence Award, Learning by Design Architectural & Interior Design Award of Excellence 2020

Facility Design Award, Association of College Unions International 2020

Building Team Award, Building Design +Construction 2020

American School & Construction Educational Interiors Showcase 2020

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