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  Student Activities Center Alterations, Rider University, Page 36Student Activities Center Alterations, Rider University
Difazio Architects
134 Kings Highway East, 2nd Floor, Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Total Square Feet: 10,800
Construction Period: Mar 2001 to Oct 2001

Construction Team
Design/Build: Design Build Affiliates - 134 Kings Highway East, 2nd Floor, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: PMH Associates - 1217B North Church Street, Morristown, NJ 08057
Cost Estimator: Design Build Affiliates - 134 Kings Highway East, 2nd Floor, Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Rider University commissioned DiFazio Architects and Design Build Affiliates, in a Design Build arrangement, to completely alter and renovate the main level of the Student Center Building. The new renovated space was to accommodate the Student Activities Offices, including a suite for the Dean of Students, an area for Residence Life, Campus Activities, Student Government and Multi-Cultural Affairs.

While each of the spaces has its own function there is continued interaction and inter-office communication. This dictated the need for a free flowing plan. The space was to be bright and cheerful, a welcome environment for students with a variety of needs and circumstances. It was to be open and comfortable while maintaining a business-like environment. 

The existing facility consisted of a double loaded corridor around a central core with offices along the perimeter which was somewhat maze like.

The architect responded to the requirements of the program with a complete departure from the existing to an open plan with custom designed work stations that provided a sense of privacy for the personnel while maintaining a feeling of spaciousness. There is order without confinement. The stations were designed utilizing a light grained wood veneer which allowed them to be sized appropriately while keeping the spacious feeling. The edges of the units are trimmed in black to highlight the variety of shapes.

Walls were painted utilizing a mixture of designer colors to define the spaces without interfering with the open plan environment. Doors are wood grained to match the work stations and frames are painted in different colors from the walls to add interest and contrast. 

Recessed indirect, high angle distribution lighting fixtures were chosen in the main space to provide highlighting without glare and reflection on computer screens. The light fixtures are complemented by the use of a non directional, smooth surface ceiling tile in a fine line 2-ft. by 2-ft. grid which gives the space a cleaner, more sophisticated appearance.

The main reception desk is at the crossroads of the main entrance corridor and the entrance from the student lounge. It is the focal point for all visitors while dividing student government spaces from the faculty staffed spaces, thus providing the student government area autonomy of operation without segregating it from student services. 

Through the efforts of DiFazio Architects and Design Build Affiliates the new Student Center is now a bright and cheerful place for the students and faculty of Rider University.

DIV 08: Metal Door Frames: CECO; Hardware: Arrow, Dorma, H.B. Ives.
DIV 09: Gypsum: United States Gypsum; Carpet: Shaw; Resilient: Armstrong; Acoustical Treatment: USG.

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