Argyros Student Union, Chapman University

Orange, California
19,275 SF (new construction); 23,361 SF (renovation, including 2,077 SF outdoor area)
Flexibility in programming and overlapping functions;
Integration of food services and entertainment venues
Large areas broken down into comfortable, smaller nooks and seating areas
Hospitable environment that feels residential and less institutional

AC Martin provided a feasibility study, programming report, and architectural/interior design services for this much-anticipated Student Union Expansion and Renovation to the existing Argyros Forum at Chapman University. Located at the heart of campus, the building went through a revolutionary transformation to bring the campus together through a series of warm and inviting places to mingle and relax; increased food options with late-night hours; technology; non-institutional furnishings to help build a community feel; and event space for student performances. The primary goal for the University was to provide a ‘home away from home’ that would encourage both commuting and boarding students to linger, collaborate and study in between and after classes.  

The project created a student-focused facility with dedicated meeting spaces, large multipurpose space, performance space with built-in stage, Living Room with fireplace, a variety of seating arrangements and study areas, new dining venues, and a student-run information desk.

Within the central Living Room, several smaller seating areas are clearly defined with custom-designed carpets allowing students to find or create their own unique, comfortable niche. Furnishings are soft, yet durable and the seating is designed to be light and moveable to afford students a sense of ownership and the ability to customize their space according to their needs, whether it be individual study, group work, socialization, eating or just relaxing.