FSU Student Union

Tallahassee, Florida

The recently completed Student Union has reenergized student life at Florida State in a way that few could imagine. Replacing the former student union complex, the new Union is a significant upgrade in terms of size, quality, and variety of space, amenities, and services. Not unexpectedly, the Student Union has quickly regained its position as the primary hub for campus activity at Florida State. The 269,000 GSF building provides a variety of space types, such as offices for Student Government, Greek Life, and the Union administration; lounge and study spaces; flexible meeting rooms and multi-purpose ballrooms; and retail spaces, including the new campus bookstore, retail, and dining venues with their associated support spaces such as kitchens, delivery and storage areas. The FSU Student Union goes further, however, and includes a bowling and billiard center, a nightclub, an art center, elevated porches, and outdoor activity areas which are both landscaped and hardscaped, such as those found on the new Union green as well as the largest green roof at FSU. With design features such as superior visibility, the melding of indoor and outdoor space, creative engineering systems, and a contemporary interpretation of the FSU’s architectural design guidelines, just to name a few, the Student Union provides the ultimate student experience at FSU. (Design collaboration with Workshop Architects.)

Florida State University
$126 million
269,000 SF
For more than 20 years, Florida State University officials, students and planners dreamed of creating a new student union facility. Master plans were developed around a new union. Studies were conducted and sketches were drawn. Even when the actual design of the new union began, few people could fully understand or appreciate the magnitude of a new facility. In August 2022, those dreams became a reality as FSU officially opened its brand-new masterpiece.
The design of the new Student Union is a representation of the University’s architectural guidelines that call for a more contemporary interpretation of the historical Collegiate Gothic style, which FSU is known for. Observers will note subtle architectural features found in many of the older buildings on campus, including precast stone elements, unique brick patterns, and the all-familiar gable roof expressions.
The centerpiece of the interior is the soaring atrium that evokes a sense of grandeur, while providing an overwhelming sense of openness and enclosure.
The most significant improvement in service is in the area of dining and food service. Today’s Union offers a large Food Hall which houses recognizable names such as Starbucks, Panera Brea, Panda Express, Pollo Tropical, and Brooklyn Pizza. Each features open kitchens, fresh food options, and varied and flexible seating configurations where diners can sit for a few minutes or a few hours. A new Sports Grille gives fans the opportunity to dine and watch the Seminoles and other teams compete or simply stop by for lunch or dinner. It is worth noting that the design of all food operation spaces required close coordination with Business Services and the food service vendors to verify the design and intent of each space and to confirm that program requirements and equipment specifications were met.
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