The Salem College Student Center, which was dedicated on May 13, 2014, has received the Outstanding Design Award in the Post-Secondary category by American School and University magazine. Featured in their annual design awards program, the student center was recognized for its construction, which paired modern touches of design with historical pieces, to reflect other buildings on the 243-year-old campus.
Designed by LAMBERT Architecture + Interiors and built by Frank L. Blum Construction Company, the 15,000 square foot building offers a Great Room with a fireplace, cafe, bookstore, student activities suite, meeting rooms, student mailboxes, and the Sallie Craig Tuton Huber and Douglas H. Huber Theater, which seats ninety for guest speakers and film screenings. The Pauly Plaza, off the back of the building, features a gathering space around a fire pit/water feature. A patio on the front of the building offers outdoor meeting space with covered tables.
"It was such an honor to design a new building within Salem's rich architectural fabric. The material palette is time-tested and enduring. We introduced newer materials such as a monumental plate glass in subtle ways. This allowed an open feeling not typically found in some of the historical structures, making it truly a building of the present day as well," said Stuart McCormick, Vice President of LAMBERT Architecture + Interiors.
Targeting Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification, the student center includes many facets of sustainable design. Trees that were felled for construction have found new life in the building, repurposed for tables in the cafe and lower atrium, and as a frame around a commissioned woodcut print by Salem Alumna Mona Wu that hangs in the Great Room.
Earlier this fall, Salem's student center was also awarded an honorable mention recognition by Business North Carolina in their 2014 Building North Carolina Awards. Listed among fifteen other projects statewide, the student center, a project which is of modest size and cost comparably, exemplifies some of the most innovative architecture in North Carolina.
Since its opening, students, faculty, staff, and members of the Winston-Salem community have enjoyed the student center. Thursday evening concerts in the cafe are a popular recurring event, and RiverRun International Film Festival has used the Huber Theater to screen Community Cinema selections. Built with the future in mind, the student center will continue to enhance and strengthen Salem's place as one of the nation's premier women's colleges for years to come.