Centrally located on Oakland University’s campus, The Oakland Center student union was built in 1958 with major additions occurring in 1961, 1969, and 2003. This much needed addition and renovation came in an effort to meet student and University needs as enrollment continues to exceed expectations of over 20,000 students. As the most heavily used building on Oakland’s campus, more than 10,000 students enter the Oakland Center’s doors every day.
In addition to offering a variety of programs, services, and activities this spacious addition increases the area of the Oakland Center by 50% providing new ballrooms, conference rooms, and lounge spaces. The renovation provides much needed program adjustments, kitchen upgrades, and a materials face-lift. The destination dining room that surrounds a large multilevel stone fireplace supports social gathering, where students can relax, eat, and collaborate in a warm comfortable setting.
The new 10,000 square foot ballroom located on the second floor of the center overlooking Elliot Tower, is an ideal space for hosting various conferences, receptions or special events on campus. Similarly, the unique student collaboration space/ amphitheater creates an open feel between the lower and main level of the center, flexible enough to support multiple functions.
Maintaining the cohesive and open nature of the previous three building additions while designing the fourth was a crucial and necessary mission for this project. Studying the construction types of each addition and making slight adjustments to the previous design allowed for a building capable of taking on the new addition square footage while maintaining spacious corridors. The addition and renovation’s overall design aligns with Oakland University’s efforts to create a welcoming atmosphere that supports student involvement and facilitate creativity.