Downtown Birmingham is home to the expansive campus of The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Within this dense urban environment and adjacent University medical district, student organizations play a large role in creating a diverse community for undergraduate campus life. As enrollment of the University and involvement in Student Life organizations increases, a dedicated home was necessary to allow for continued growth and custom programming.
In the fall of 2021, ArchitectureWorks engaged with staff, organization leaders, and student members through a series of planning events and online surveys to assess goals for the building. With the site situated a 5-10 minute walk from most academic and on-campus residential facilities, students wanted space for informal activities such as studying and socializing as well as a variety of meeting space sizes and presentation equipment for recruitment events and other student-led meetings.
Due to limited site area, ArchitectureWorks developed various spatial schemes to provide student organizations with a recognizable campus presence at a busy intersection close to the base of Red Mountain while taking advantage of views towards Vulcan and the high-visibility outdoor event spaces. The building is sized to meet the current needs of Student Life organizations while providing opportunities for future expansion with the anticipated overall campus growth.