Missouri State University entrusted local practice Dake Wells Architecture with the design of this new welcome center, which serves as a front gate to its Springfield campus. Conceived as a signature building for the institution as a whole, the five million dollar, 13,000-square-foot facility doubles as a multi-purpose venue for special events and a gathering place for visitors and prospective students.
Enhancing the building’s visual presence, the architects devised a monumental two-story scheme that allows for a future expansion incorporating existing admissions and registration services. In addition to the spacious entrance lobby, the ground floor accommodates public functions, such as the hundred-seat auditorium and a small catering kitchen; administrative offices and conference rooms are located on the upper level and are accessed via a suspended walkway. The building enclosure combines a variety of materials in response to the surrounding campus context. The rear ground-floor spaces are largely concealed behind limestone cladding; to the north, the envelope increases in transparency, culminating in a tapering glass curtain wall that accentuates the building’s main entrance. The architects used a seemingly paper-thin layer of white Swisspearl panels to sheathe the fully glazed upper sections of the east and west façades. The latter extends slightly beyond the pointed corner of the building where the lower part folds slightly away to extend a welcoming gesture to visitors. Inspired by the pattern of a composition booklet, a seemingly random arrangement of circular perforations feeds dappled light into the atrium and allows views from the second-floor walkway.
1 SWISSPEARL panel 8 mm, perforated
2 ventilation cavity
3 aluminum sub framing
4 structural steel
6 curtain wall system
901S National Ave, Springfield, USA
Missouri State University
Dake Wells Architecture, Springfield, USA
Wright Construction Services, St Peters Missouri, USA
Loveall Custom Sheet Metal, Springfield, USA
Swisspearl® SWISSPEARL, CARAT Onyx 7090
PDF project sheet
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