Entry view. North Elevation along Murray Street. Photography: Scott McDonald©Hedrich Blessing

Western Illinois University Multicultural Center

Macomb, Illinois

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Area:  21,900 square feet

Site & Program: Nagle Hartray worked with University staff and user groups to define space needs and select a site.  The user groups’ desired program exceeded available funding, so some program elements were identified for shared use and others for future construction.  Site selection was informed by pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns, visibility within the campus, and by a simultaneous campus-wide master plan.

Design:  The new Multicultural Center brings together four minority student groups: Gwendolyn Brooks Student Organization, Women's Center, Casa Latina, and International Students, all of which were previously scattered around campus in separated facilities. 

The centrally located building promotes an improved understanding of cultural differences through programs that disseminate the center’s mission to a broader campus audience.  It achieved LEED Silver Certification.

The Center includes lounge and administrative spaces dedicated to each group as well as shared spaces such as a dance/multipurpose room and computer laboratory to promote interaction.  The hub of the center is a shared activity room and adjoining kitchen on the first floor, located on the first floor.  The central, sloped-roof atrium space above is the dominant design element in plan, section, and elevation.  A second floor library has been organized around the atrium to form a single unified collection from prior individual group collections.

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