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October 16, 2020

Perkins and Will recognized for EWU project

Photo by Kevin Scott [enlarge]
The Pence Union Building previously won awards from AIA Washington Council and Boston Society of Architects.

A renovation and addition to the Pence Union Building at Eastern Washington University was honored in the 2020 AIA New England Design Awards.

The 123,000-square-foot, $47 million project on the Cheney campus won a citation award.

Perkins and Will's Seattle and Boston offices were the architect and interior designer on the LEED project completed in 2018.

In press materials, the firm said the 1968 student union building and a 1994 addition to it were outdated. With enrollment growing at Eastern Washington University, students sought a place to study, dine and engage.

The firm said the design transformed the three-story student union into a welcoming amenity-rich space with an easy-to-navigate open concept layout with lots of natural light.

A contemporary wood, glass and aluminum atrium addition was created by cutting into the middle of the 1968 and 1994 parts of the building.

The atrium's central staircase takes people from an entrance at the mall side of the campus to the student life and commuter side, which has a lounge where students can wait for buses.

The atrium houses student organizations, conference and meeting rooms, a computer lab and a dining center with a cafeteria, mini-market and restaurants. A two-story red glass feature wall hearkens to EWU's colors and the geological history of the region by incorporating a textural map of the Channeled Scablands. The artwork is based on a topographic map from 1923.

The team included Leone & Keeble, general contractor; Coughlin Porter Lundeen, civil and structural engineer; MW Engineers, MEP engineer; Blanca Lighting, lighting designer; Swift Co., landscape architect; Stafford Design Group, food service; and The Greenbusch Group, elevator and acoustics.

The project also won a citation award in the AIA Washington Council 2019 Civic Design Awards and a 2019 citation award for education facilities design from the Boston Society of Architects.

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