Colorado State University, Lory Student Center
Fort Collins, Colorado
Square Footage: 205,000
The Lory Student Center is one of the most active and inclusive student centers in the country. A mid-century classic building with multiple fragmented renovations and additions, the 205,000 square foot (19,045 square meter) building needed more space and better organization. The expansion is seamless in architectural style while integrating iconic new features.
The Lory Theatre renovation is Phase I of this major renovation and expansion project
The theatre serves not only university programs and events, but is also an important resource for the local community. The renovations created more than just a theatre. The original 1962 design – fixed, raked seating at main and balcony levels – was transformed into a highly flexible space, able to accommodate a full range of activities, from concerts, movies, magic shows, lectures, and conferences to ballroom-catered events. The 300-person seating system is one of the first of its kind in the United States; it can be moved or retracted to accommodate a variety of events. A mezzanine level surrounding the space provides additional seating for 150 people.
Updated acoustics, projection capabilities, and lighting were key design considerations. Perimeter wall panels significantly improve acoustics; natural light floods the interior space through a large window above the lobby; energy-efficient LED lights can be individually-controlled or pre-set and are capable of changing to almost any color. The entry was opened up with views north to the central courtyard. Sculpted wood and metal panels in the lobby reflect the modernist character of the existing building.
The Student Center was Phase 2
The revitalization of the Center focuses on a reorganization of the 1962 building and an increase in program space. The main entry from the Free Speech Plaza was rebuilt and reprogrammed to co-locate all student directory programs and services, signaling that all students are welcome and have a home in the building.
The project includes a significant growth to the food service program, both in the building and across campus. The main retail food court increased in size to 825 seats and added another retail venue. The existing venues were reconfigured to provide more flexibility for customer queues. In addition to the main retail food service venues, there is also a student-run coffee venue at the main entry.
The Ramskellar, the on-campus student bar and performance venue, was renovated and expanded to provide 250 seats for dining and at the bar. A microbrewery was added to the Ramskellar, its kettles located in a glass partition within a classroom. This innovative degree program on the craft of beer connects food service, student life, and academics.
The main ballroom was expanded to 800 seats for banquets and 1600 seats for lectures, with enhanced prefunction space and dramatic views of the Front Range.