May 13, 2011
$65 million, 153,000 square-feet project is largest in College’s history
KSS Architects is excited to announce that The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey will be celebrating the opening of its new campus center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sat., May 7.
The $65 million, 153,000 square feet campus center will become a welcoming living room as well as a one-stop shop for the entire campus and student community. Formerly, Stockton College lacked a central gathering place for students to gather, eat, study, hang out, and shop. The campus center provides spaces and amenities to serve all of these activities and more. Its program includes: student services, food court, cafe, game room, theater, formal and informal gathering spaces and offices.
One of the most impressive spaces in the building is the 48-ft high Grand Hall atrium and entrance. Two eye-catching, large-scale art installations were designed for the space: a soaring, full-height black granite fireplace featuring etchings of Stockton College’s history by artist Larry Kirkland and four murals painted by Stockton professor emeritus David Ahlsted.
KSS Architects, with associate architect VMDO Architects, began designing and planning for the campus center in 2005. In recognition of the College’s emphasis on environmental stewardship and its idyllic setting in the Pinelands of New Jersey, the architectural design incorporates many sustainable and nature-inspired elements. Daylighting fills the entire building through expansive skylights and windows. Natural materials, include wood, concrete and stone bring elements from the outdoors inside. The distinctive colonnade at the building facade is topped with cross-bracing structural steel reminiscent of outstretched tree limbs and—not coincidentally—Stockton College’s iconic three-pronged tree logo.
Though its building footprint is large—spanning 572 feet from end to end—the campus center contains spaces of a variety of scales as appropriate to the function. The open Grand Hall excels as a large gathering and event space while the cafe provides intimate spaces for conversation and relaxing.
The project broke ground in May 2008 and is pursuing LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Construction work will continue through the summer to finalize the details of the building, which will be welcome students in the fall.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Sat., May 7, at 11:30 a.m. The event follows Stockton College’s morning commencement ceremonies.
Photo credit: KSS Architects LLP
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