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curry student centerNORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Originally built as a cast-in-place concrete waffle slab Brutalist structure in 1964, Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center functions as the heart of student activity on a busy urban campus. The Center contains a multitude of functions, highlighted by a large 4-story atrium space called “the indoor quad” which spatially connects many of these functions. Over the course of its lifespan, scattered updates, the most significant and recent in 1994, had left the atrium cluttered and lacking a cohesive identity. A sunken lounge left the space divided and without a clear moment of activation. Existing materials were outdated, furniture was cumbersome and hard to move, and lighting was dim and inadequate. The atrium’s existing metal railing system was heavy, clunky, and occluded visual access to upper floors of the building. In addition, large opaque student group banners hung from the railing system, further obfuscating views to and from upper level hallways. Due to the accumulation of various finishes, furniture, and materials, the space felt tired and outdated, and did not serve adequately as a center of student activity and energy on a campus where space is at a premium. Therefore, in 2014 - the Curry Center’s 50th birthday – the design team was retained to undertake a comprehensive “refresh” of finishes, furniture, materials, and graphics in the indoor quad, and to create a revitalized student center experience.