Center for Global Citizenship

Saint Louis, MO

Client: Saint Louis University
Year Completed: 2013
Size: 35,000 SF
Awards: 2015 Innovation in Internationalization Award, Association of International Education Administrators

Saint Louis University asked Fox to adapt its 1920s-era West Pine Gym into a student center for its international student population and programs. This project began with two questions: what is globalization and what does it mean to be a global citizen? Throughout the project, the team debated the answer, concluding that it includes interaction between countries, businesses, and people.

Translated into architecture, a Center for Global Citizenship must encourage communication between people of different races, nationalities, and viewpoints. For people to feel comfortable expressing their views, the space must be flexible, accommodating, and welcoming.

Fox’s design solution inserts a walkway and collaboration zone into the center of the space, bridging both sides of the facility while also creating a metaphorical bridge between cultures. To the south of the bridge is an open auditorium; to the north, a student commons. While both sides provide a variety of spaces for communication and collaboration, the bridge can also be opened to create a larger, more connected space.  Eventually, the plan is to utilize the bridge as a connection to the adjacent building, which contains the program’s faculty offices. Creating a distinction between old and new, long-covered transom glass was replaced, allowing light to infuse the space to highlight its history while celebrating its future.

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