2020 Renovation & Construction Showcase: Christine E. Lynn University Center, Lynn University
Christine E. Lynn University Center
Lynn University | Tampa, Florida
Submitted by: Alyssa Valleau, Public Relations Specialist
Campus type: Four-year, private
Full-time enrollment: 3,247
Project broke ground: September 2017
Project completed: February 2019
Total area: 65,000 sq. ft.
Project cost: $30 million
Architects: Gensler – Tampa, Florida
Lynn University’s campus master plan, crafted in 2009, called for a lively center of campus, and the Lynn University Center created exactly that. The new 65,000-square-foot building, for which construction began in 2017, was designed with the student in mind. It provides social, academic, and dining facilities all in one central facility, while also transforming the way work and collaboration is done at Lynn.
With staff steps away from campus organizations, students are literally guided toward student involvement and leadership opportunities while the new spaces motivate students and community members to create entertainment programs. A new amphitheater in the building’s adjacent park inspires faculty members to hold outdoor classes, while the interior design offers convenient services—students and staff have 24/7 accessibility to the Perper Mailroom and the Schmidt Family Campus Store. Additionally, Mary’s Kitchen offers robust, all-day, everyday dining menus, along with themed events at least once per month. Food stations provide everything from farm-fresh local and vegan options to pizza and flatbread, salads, grilled food, deli sandwiches, and comfort food.
The University Center made an impact on the local area as well. The Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Florida Independent Colleges and Universities Risk Management Association, Bank United, and other businesses now host events on the university center’s third floor.
Anticipated to be Lynn’s third LEED certified building, the center was built with U.S. Green Building Council’s sustainability rating system in mind. Over 75% of construction waste was recycled; more than a quarter of building materials were made from recycled content; more than half of the wood used was harvested from a responsibly managed forest; and it incorporates water and energy efficiencies. The university center’s sleek design promotes both sustainability and functionality. A covered front porch, which takes the form of a series of expressed frames along the east façade, creates useable, shaded, outdoor spaces while minimizing solar heat gain on the eastern interior. This frame responds to the interior program, constructing views both in and out of the building.
The exterior building envelope takes cues from existing structures and regional materials to connect with the campus context. It uses transparency to display the dynamic activity inside the university center to the surrounding campus. The interior of the university center promotes student engagement with peers, faculty, and staff. The ground floor acts as an extension of the surrounding campus, inviting students to socialize in the 24-hour dining hall and common areas. Dining acts as an anchor that pulls visitors in to support the offices for career and alumni connections, the Center for Learning Abroad, Center for Student Involvement, and the Division of Student Affairs. The third floor houses the Social Impact Lab, where the mostly open floorplan attracts changemakers from the campus and community. Transparency and blended spaces encourage students to find their own place while supporting each other in a home away from home.