The John J. Hemmingson Center will be a transformational step in creating a Gonzaga community that reinforces the institution’s “whole and rigorous” vision for student development. The building plan grows out of an understanding of the site as a crossroads of campus, resulting from pedestrian patterns approaching the site from each corner. Specific program elements are placed at each of these edges, while multiple entry points create a building that invites people to pass through.
The interior concept creates a community village through three main public spaces: the Global Commons, the Atrium Street, and the East Crossing. Each of these zones is a dynamic and interactive place where students, faculty and staff will discover and connect with new people and ideas.
The centerpiece is the Global Commons, a campus living room anchored by the Commons Hearth that will be the key community meeting place. The design is flooded with natural light from extensive walls of glass, skylights and clerestories. Standing at the center of the Commons, surrounded by curving balconies and transparent walls, one can see all of the building’s key programs on all three levels – campus ministry, academic programs, student organizations, meeting rooms, food service and recreation. Transparency and openness in the design defines what a 21st century living-learning facility should be.