Responding to the Urban Fabric; Becoming an Icon for a Commuter Campus

Tidewater Community College, Norfolk Campus Student Center, Norfolk, Virginia

The 11th largest community college in the nation, Tidewater Community College (TCC) is among the fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. While student centers are uncommon for community colleges, the downtown Norfolk Campus’ Student Center exceeded the college’s expectations in creating a student-friendly campus living room with social, recreational and service spaces.

The five-story Student Center within Norfolk’s commercial and historic district innovatively develops a constricted urban site, while preserving an existing pedestrian plaza and gardens. A swooping, transparent façade engages the plaza and showcases the hub of student activity concentrated at the building’s center. Featuring a variety of seating walls, steps and outdoor dining tables, the lively plaza supports multiple activities including small study groups, impromptu presentations, large gatherings and displays of student projects and artwork.

Together, we create design solutions to the greatest challenges facing our clients and society.