University of Utah Alumni House
Salt Lake City, Utah
31,000 SF

The Alumni House is the meeting and entertainment hub for alumni activities in the heart of the campus. The main challenges facing this remodel are preserving the historic spirit of the building, incorporating existing mechanical and utilities into the new building, and meshing new and old programmatic concepts. The existing donor family is honoring the legacy of its members by continuing to sponsor the new building

The Alumni House is a symbol of the achievements of past students. It is a point of continued involvement and support for alumni of all stages in their journeys, and it connects the broader community to the campus by opening its doors as an event center. This building is designed for a diversity of experiences unlike any other building on the University of Utah campus. Career counseling, MUSS ticket distribution, food drives, alumni club meetings, and even wedding receptions occur in the Alumni house, demonstrating the wide range of needs that must be met.

The renovation and addition designs for the diversity of uses and users by providing flexible spaces and an uncomplicated material palette that favors the quality and richness of materials, such as the regionally inspired stone walls on the exterior and the wood paneling inside. The design integrates university colors in a subtle and elegant way that references the campus context and adds warmth and interest to every space so the focus stays on the event at hand.

The design addresses the long history of the University of Utah by creating a timeless aesthetic that focuses on the visitor’s experience. The design creates scenic views to campus, airy patios, and stately meeting areas. The building preserves artifacts of every graduating class in a “class links” display area, featuring a custom ladder like structure that suspends each class link in an artful way. Other elements, like the steel U sculpture at the building entry, abstract University iconography to create experiential elements that tie the building to campus and create interest for visitors approaching the building.

The Alumni House celebrates the on-going mission of the University of Utah by creating a regionally inspired building capable of housing the diverse experiences of alumni from every era.