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

St. Louis University asked Fox to adapt its 1920’s era West Pine Gym into a new 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 answer was debated among the entire team. The answer includes interaction between countries, businesses and people. We translated this to architecture – a Center for Global Citizenship must be a space that encourages communication between people of different races, nationalities and viewpoints. People need to feel safe to express their views. It must be flexible. It must be welcoming.

Fox’s solution was to insert a walkway and collaboration zone into the center of the space, creating both a metaphorical bridge between cultures and bridging the east and west sides of the bowl. This bridge is planned to eventually connect to the adjacent building containing the program’s faculty offices. There is a clear distinction between old and new, both being visible and celebrated. Transom glass that had long been covered was replaced, lighting the bowl. The bridge can be opened to create on large connected floor space. To the south of the bridge is an open auditorium. To the north is a student commons. Both provide a variety of spaces for communication and collaboration.

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