Background and Context
Located 3 miles from downtown New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) is one of the five Connecticut regional state universities. Founded in 1893, the campus is a pristine example of traditional brick collegiate architecture and offers a variety of degree programs to 8,500 undergraduate and 3,300 postgraduate students. Two primary zones on the campus - residential to the west and academic core to the east - are bisected north to south by Fitch Street. With the University growing, there was an increased need to create a hub for student activity, amenities and services. The University conceived of a new student center as a means to build community at the crossroads - linking campus life to the academic core and primary pedestrian connection with main points of access. SCSU identified a prominent site on Fitch Street to serve as the new gateway to campus and location for the Michael J. Adanti Student Center.
The four-story brick and glass structure façade has restrained use of University logos and motifs while the palette of the interior reflects University colors and the beauty of the Connecticut Shoreline. Select use of natural materials such as columns wrapped with polished copper and local stone and wood exist in harmony with the sleek contemporary lines of a dramatic central staircase, expansive windows, contemporary fixtures, and furnishings. Particularly impressive in the evening, the glow of the Center’s welcoming interior is a draw even on the coldest New England winter night.
Hearth and home to the SCSU Owls, the beloved Michael J. Adanti Center is the focal point of campus organizations and activities.
Now considered hearth and home to the SCSU Owls, the beloved Adanti Center is the focal point of campus organizations and activities. Its open and engaging atmosphere and diverse programmatic elements support formal and informal activities. Adanti is the first stop for students as they visit the University and an integral part of everyday campus life.
JCJ worked closely with the University to incorporate national trends in student center design that would best serve the programming requirements. The Center includes a student lab, student organization suites, event space, meeting rooms, a multi-cultural center, a fireplace lounge, food court, coffee house, bookstore, computer lab and retail shops. Located on the second floor, the popular 7,500 square foot fitness center offers a range of equipment and exercise activies.
The building incorporates durable materials and systems as well as sustainable design approaches; the project exceeded State of Connecticut’s High Performance Building Guidelines, the equivalent of LEED Silver. Sensitivity to eco-friendliness and human wellness were an important part of the design approach, the process of development and construction of the Center, and continuing use and operation. Thoughtful spatial planning promotes and interaction and collaboration. Careful selection and durability of systems, finishes and furniture has allowed the building to adjust to changing programs and maintain its appearance despite constant use by the University community.
All members of Southern Connecticut State University’s thriving community have come together in the halls of the Adanti Student Center.