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