Welcome Center and Student Commons

Hunter College, academic interior renovation


This project introduces essential new campus program to a very central, but underutilized public space at Hunter College. Phase one renovations in 2010 included the creation of a Visitors’ Center and initiated a new campus wayfinding program.  Phase two renovations will include a Welcome Center and Student Commons.

A campus security upgrade initiated the first phase of this project’s construction. At the Visitors’ Center, student guides sit behind a desk of backlit purple resin to greet newcomers.  The Visitors’ Center serves as a welcoming threshold to control campus access while also providing a clear wayfinding snapshot to guide people through the urban campus’ counterintuitive circulation.

 Phase two renovations will include a Welcome Center and Student Commons. Unlike most college campuses which benefit from the presence of a residential student body, the vibrant sense of community at Hunter College is one based primarily in shared academic goals. This spirit thrives at Hunter despite a lack of spaces that promote interaction between students outside the classroom.

 The West Lobby Student Commons seeks to establish a series of spaces at Hunter College which nurture a sense of collective identity and promote extracurricular student interaction.  These new spaces are centrally located on the first floor of the West Building at Hunter College.

 In addition to the Student Commons, this proposal includes plans for a Welcome Center, the Hunter Hall of Merit, a café, an expanded art gallery, public computing and an open amphitheater social/study/performance space.


project academic interior renovation location New York, NY size 10,500sf client CUNY Hunter College scope of services programming, planning, graphic design, lighting design completion 2009 (phase one), 2017 (est)