Architecture and engineering firm HED has broken ground on the new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student Union at Fresno State. Working with McCarthy Building Companies, the team created the design for the California State University to enhance campus paths of travel to invite students and visitors into the new center for student life. In turn, the design will provide additional space for a growing student population.
As HED explains, more than 50 years ago, Fresno State's existing Student Union was built to serve 10,000 students; since then, enrollment has grown to approximately 25,000. Inspired by the shapes of the Sierras, the new union is designed to create a sense of place. Situated along major campus arteries and offering diverse spaces for collaboration and learning, the new union blends elements of the natural environment. Creating a hub of gathering spaces that link to campus pathways and the existing Student Union, the project also reflects the agrarian grid of the valley, opening eastward toward the Sierras.
"The design draws inspiration from the progression of a student's life on campus, says HED principal Michael Bulander, designer on the project. "The stages go from being new on campus and exploring a wide range of activities to having specific social and academic connections to being fully engaged in student life and student governance activities. The building reflects that in its sequence of spaces."
A quarter of the building's energy load is designed to be offset by energy collected by a solar photovoltaic array; this is one of multiple efficiency and wellness measures at the project as it aims for LEED Gold. Pre-cast, insulated, concrete panels dominate the building exterior, complementing the library and the current Student Union. These panels will be pre-manufactured off-site and a finished interior and exterior surface, as well as building insulation, enabling a faster construction schedule.
Support for the project was provided through a donation by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company. Opening of the project is scheduled for fall 2021.
News via HED