By RITA DUCKWORTH
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Student Success Center is a popular gathering place for students to collaborate, study, socialize, and relax. Originally built in 2009, it was due for an update. Louer Facility Planning provided new furnishings and finish selections for the refresh project, which opened for the fall semester 2018.
Louer collaborated on the project with campus architect Michael Grandy, architectural firm AAIC, contractor R&W Builders and SSC Associate Director Nicholas Rachowicz. Students also had input into the final design plan.
The focal point of the newly designed space is a large, round, ceiling element with colored LED lights.
“It sets the tone of the space which we accentuated with our selections and placement of the moveable furniture,” says Design Director Yvette Paris.
President Jane Louer adds: “Red elements and materials throughout help to reinforce the university’s brand.”
“The interior space was outdated,” explains Louer. “The furniture no longer supported the way students use the space.” New, more comfortable and engaging study and lounging spaces were created to accommodate laptops and to encourage students to come, stay, and learn.
Some of the existing lounge furniture was still serviceable but did not fit into the new, more vibrant color scheme. “We were able to reupholster and re-laminate about 90 pieces of furniture,” says Paris. The university and its students place a high value on sustainability and the environment. Repurposing and refurbishing saved the university a significant amount of money while keeping the old furniture out of a landfill.
Louer is a dealer for Haworth, which manufactured the new pieces for the space. Furniture was chosen based on its durability, use of environmentally friendly materials, and its improved aesthetic.
“The Louer team did a great job translating our needs and vision into the space we have today,” says Rachowicz. “Louer was both practical and creative.”
By RITA DUCKWORTH