SFS Architecture

Capital Campaign

Gangwish Library and Gibson Student Center

Ottawa University, Ottawa, KS

Design of a new library and student center to serve as a new epicenter for campus life

Challenge

Design a new, modern multipurpose facility bringing together the library/student learning commons, bookstore, dining hall, cafe’, and multipurpose, technology-rich meeting rooms to create a synergistic hub for campus life while also responding to the historical context of the campus.

Process

Working in a design-build partnership, SFS explored options with the University for best siting the new facility to create the desired campus heart and the optimal layout of the building to achieve programmatic goals. SFS supported the University’s capital campaign by providing renderings and other project-related data.

Solution

A new 54,000 SF technology-rich, student-focused facility was designed to support and encourage student use.  The placement and curvature of the building not only creates a direct sheltered link between campus living to the north and campus academia to the south, but allows the building with its transparent front to share, by way of visual showcase, the heart of campus life with visitors, prospective students and the Ottawa community as a whole.

“We have been very pleased with the work of SFS on the largest project ever developed at Ottawa University. It is our signature building, and we needed people who could rise to that level and who would appreciate this beyond the obvious considerations. We found that in SFS, and also found true collaborators in the design and construction of the project. This term 'collaboration' is an easy one to toss around, but in the case of SFS and OU, it has come to fruition and has been a pleasure. ”
– Kevin C. Eichner
President, Ottawa University